Our Origin Story

About Us

Our Vision

Iowa’s Coldwater rivers and streams will be complete, healthy eco-systems that improve our natural environment and enhance the lives of everyone who has the opportunity to experience these examples of our natural heritage.

Why ICC was created?

Iowa’s Coldwater Conservancy organized in 2017 to protect and restore the ecosystems that sustain Iowa’s coldwater rivers and streams while expanding public access to these vital and unique natural resources.

ICC formed with the recognition that:

  • We could not continue to address the significant challenges to the ecosystems of our coldwater rivers and streams as stand-alone, volunteer-driven nonprofit organizations.
  • We could not continue to try to protect and restore watersheds and riparian zones of the unique rivers and streams in the “Driftless Area” of northeast Iowa by using the same practices which were used many years ago. We had to work with alliances of like-minded partners to raise the necessary resources to address these significant challenges.

Today’s Challenges

  • Climate change (more severe weather, flooding, rising water temps, plant and species extinction).
  • Antiquated and/or industrial agricultural practices.
  • Challenging political climate affecting environmental policy initiatives
  • Shrinking state and federal conservation budgets.
  • Challenges to public lands.
  • The need to create more outdoor opportunities for underserved populations
  • Increased competition for philanthropic dollars.
  • Rising cost of environmental restoration.
Make an Impact

Support ICC

When you give to ICC,

  1. You help to offset and adapt to the effects of climate change.
  2. You help educate people about the impacts of climate change.
  3. You support innovative and regenerative agricultural practices.
  4. You improve the political climate towards environmental policy.
  5. You help protect public lands.
  6. You offset shrinking state & federal conservation budgets to meet the rising costs of environmental restoration.
  7. You help environmental and climate justice.

Thanks for your help in creating a better world!


Iowa’s Coldwater Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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Our Projects

Wild & Scenic FilmFest

SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival (WSFF) inspires environmental activism and a love for nature through film. Wild & Scenic shares an urgent call to action, encouraging festival-goers to learn …

Fund the Trust Campaign

On June 27, 2022, ICC awarded a $500 Grant to the Iowa Environmental Council (IEC).  This grant was designated to support the efforts of IEC and coalition partners through the …

Rissman Farm Access

Yellow River, Allamakee County, IA Rissman Yellow River Easement  In 2018 the Rissman family, who for many generations have lived and worked on their farm in Allamakee county, agreed to …

Little Paint Creek

Yellow River State Forest, IA Before After Before and after photos of Little Paint Creek in the Yellow River Forest in Allamakee County from the winterof 2021 and 2022 tell …

Bloody Run Creek in Clayton County

Bloody Run Creek has been recognized as one of Iowa’s Outstanding Waters for its rugged beauty, abundant natural resources, and well established population of wild brown trout.  In 2019, a 165 acre parcel …

Ten Mile Creek Project

In 2019, a private land owner agreed to sell a multi-parcel addition to Falcon Springs Wildlife Management Area located between Bluffton and Decorah.  A thirty-two acre parcel included a section of …