Bruce G. Mountain
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Des Moines, Iowa

As Lands Projects Director of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Bruce Mountain has helped arrange real estate transactions that have resulted in the restoration of more than 14,265 acres of wetlands. His primary focus is on seven major river corridors in Iowa, where he is working with multiple landowners and funding sources to buy residual interests in properties to put together riverine wetland complexes. Often he works to acquire environmentally significant properties on behalf of county, state, and federal agencies to hold until public financing is available. Following the great floods of 1993, Bruce played a crucial role in the buyout of a Mississippi River levee district. In that case, Bruce worked tirelessly to put together deals to acquire 10 farms, helping landowners meet their financial objectives and agencies their conservation objectives at the same time. The levee district is now part of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge.

An avid outdoorsman and lawyer in private practice for 20 years before joining the Foundation in 1993, Bruce works quickly and flexibly and brings financial savvy to situations. He refuses to let obstacles stand in the way of wetland projection, and his approach is considered a model for cooperative wetland restoration projects across the nation.

— Lyle Asell, Natural Resources Conservation Service