Memorial Wildlife Tract Honors Richard C. Nomsen's Upland Legacy
Northern Iowa’s famous Big Wall Lake Wildlife Area – a 900-acre natural wetland – has always been a “must see” destination for waterfowlers. And now it's an upland hunter's dream too.
Diverse partnership efforts of state, federal and local entities over the past five years have earned Big Wall a new reputation for its upland bird hunting opportunities, including the area's latest addition: the 104-acre Richard C. Nomsen Memorial Wildlife Tract.
Richard Nomsen (1920-2000), the late father of Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever’s vice president of government affairs, was a dedicated servant to ringneck pheasants and other wildlife throughout his 30-year career with the Iowa Conservation Commission/DNR.
Born in Wall Lake, Iowa, Nomsen served as the state's chief pheasant wildlife research biologist and was co-author of The Ring-necked Pheasant in Iowa, a popular book still referenced today about the history and biology of Iowa’s favorite gamebird. During his tenure with the commission, Nomsen oversaw more than 20 seasons of Iowa’s rooster harvest, ranging from 1.1 to 1.9 million birds.
The Richard C. Nomsen Memorial Wildlife Tract features 16 acres of wetlands and 88 acres of restored upland cover – the first dedicated nesting habitat adjacent to Big Wall Lake in the past 30 years. Since the time of this acquisition, an additional 100+ acres of public lands were acquired directly south of the Nomsen tract.
From left, PF's Dave Nomsen (with granddaughter Cybil) and Melanie Nomsen, along with daughter Amanda and son-in-law Ryan Ford, celebrate the family's upland legacy.
Furthermore, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, a long-standing partner of Pheasants Forever and the DNR, holds title to 330 acres on the north end of Big Wall Lake that will eventually be sold to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help create a wetland/upland complex that most upland hunters dream of.
Dave Nomsen of Pheasants Forever would like to provide special recognition to the following local Pheasants Forever chapters and volunteers who helped create the ultimate vision for the Richard C. Nomsen Memorial Wildlife Tract:
• Boone County Pheasants Forever
• Four Seasons Pheasants Forever
• Franklin County Pheasants Forever
• Hamilton County Pheasants Forever
• Humboldt County Pheasants Forever
• Iowa Pioneer II Pheasants Forever
• Mahaska County Pheasants Forever
• North Butler County Pheasants Forever
• Northern Polk Pheasants Forever
• State Council of Pheasants Forever in Iowa
• Story County Pheasants Forever
• Webster County Pheasants Forever
• Worth County Pheasants Forever