Your action is needed to protect conservation progress
02 Apr 2014 — 01:19 PM
a. The proposal even cuts funds from the current fiscal year-money that the Department thought it had available and undoubtedly had included in current work plans.
i. What is not going to get done now that the Department does not have those funds?
ii. How much more will be taken from various REAP accounts in future years if this fundraising precedent is enacted?
iii. Is this really another attempt to take public land acquisition funds away from the DNR?
i. If those projects are a priority, then they should be funded through the general fund, not with diversions from a REAP account.
5. Issue highlights that may also interest you include:
1. IDALS is charged with conducting water quality evaluations in targeted watersheds and creating a database of water quality practices, however,
i. All information received is to be considered a confidential record and is exempt from public access
1. This expands the current code, which states that individual landowners or farm practices are not to be identified, so who is this protecting?
2. Availability of transparent data about water quality is the only way Iowans will know if water quality improvements are being achieved.
a. This Administration has been very vocal about openness and transparency. This appears to be moving in the opposite direction
2. Eminent Domain language prohibiting DNR from using eminent domain to purchase public land
i. Not aware this has been used since this 1980’s.
ii. Is this really about the proposed reservoir in Southern Iowa? If so, this is not the appropriate place to legislate state policy.
3. Loess Hills Development Authority and Alliance language appears to solve a problem that does not exist.
i. The current statute does not give either the authority to oversee or to manage public or private land.
ii. Seems to be an overreaction to the recent vote considering a Park Reserve status.
1. LHA was merely doing what state law charged it to do.
2. LHA put it to a vote and it was not passed.
3. Issue settled-the LHA is working as authorized.
iii. The proposed referendum process is unwieldy and unnecessary.
6. Articles written about the bill you may want to review
1. Des Moines Register article 3/27/14
2. Des Moines Register article 3/28/14