Mayne in as new conservation director

Newly hired Tama County Conservation Director Stephen Mayne began work with the county in early March. Mayne is an ISU graduate and has spent the past several years working as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Darvin Graham/Sun Courier

The Tama County Conservation Board has hired Stephen Mayne as the county’s next Conservation Director.

In his position as the county’s conservation director, Mayne will head a department that oversees more than a dozen land units throughout the county including the 529-acre county park at Otter Creek Lake. His first day on the job was March 8.

Mayne holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and animal ecology from Iowa State University. He comes to the position most recently employed as an executive with the Boy Scouts of American organization; first in the Dubuque area and then in the Cedar Rapids area as a Senior District Executive with the Hawkeye Area Council.

Prior to his work with the Boy Scouts, Mayne interned with the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board in Council Bluffs for four seasons as a Park Ranger Intern.

Mayne, 30, said his love of the outdoors began in childhood as he went through the Boy Scouts program. He entered college looking to pursue a career in conservation work but opportunities presented themselves with the Boy Scouts of America to grow his career and give back to an organization that was influential in his upbringing.

Now after almost a decade with the Boy Scouts, Mayne is excited at the opportunity to return to public conservation and recreation.

One of the primary projects on the horizon for the county conservation department is a lake restoration project that will include dredging of Otter Creek Lake.

Mayne says another primary goal of his in the coming year is to increase camping attendance rates at T.F. Clark Park.

Upcoming public events at Otter Creek Lake and Park include a Bat House Building Workshop on March 19 and a Rain Barrel Workshop on April 10.

Mayne takes over as the second director to lead the conservation department in Tama County since 2019 when Logan Roberts succeeded Bob Etzel, who retired after 40 years as the county’s conservation director.

Roberts resigned the post in December to take a position with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“Having worked in the Cedar Rapids area, I have always enjoyed visiting Tama County and I knew that I wanted to eventually live and work in this area,” Mayne said. “I don’t have any immediate connections with Tama County, but I do have family who live in the surrounding nearby counties. I feel it is very important to live in Tama County and I am presently looking for a more permanent place to live in the Tama-Toledo area.”