IWILL Lobby Day

IWiLL logo finalIowa’s Water and Land Legacy (IWILL) Capitol Day is right around the corner: Monday, Jan. 26. Don’t miss this opportunity to advocate for directing funds to the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.

What is the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund?

Iowans overwhelmingly voted to create this trust fund in 2010 to conserve clean water, productive agricultural soils and abundant natural resources. Now, in 2015, we must take the crucial next step of directing revenue to the trust fund to ensure that this permanent, constitutionally protected funding source is available to conserve Iowa’s water, soil, habitat, parks, and trails for generations to come.

What are some of the benefits?

  • Economic: Natural resource protection and eco-tourism are important to our rural economy, helping attract and retain a skilled workforce and contributing to our unique quality of life.
  • Accountability: The trust will fund voluntary, non-regulatory conservation partnerships, and is accountable to taxpayers through public oversight, mandatory annual audits and regular reports submitted to the Iowa Legislature.

What about Capitol Day?

The IWILL Capitol Day will be an opportunity for members and advocates to engage with legislators. This will not only allow for legislators to learn from constituents in person on the importance of funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, but also see the momentum built up in support of funding the trust. Legislators are most likely to listen to people from their home districts who have a personal story or an interest to share.

IWILL T-shirts will be available on a first come first serve basis until they are gone. If you don’t want to wear a T-shirt, wear blue to show you are part of the IWILL effort.

Location:
Iowa Capitol, First Floor Rotunda
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319

Schedule:
1 p.m. — Members/advocates begin arriving. There will be a table set up to sign-in and host informal activist trainings on how to talk with legislators. These will take place every half hour starting at 1:15 p.m. and include preparing your personal conservation stories and learning how to send in a note to legislators in the House and/or Senate chambers.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. — IWILL members/advocates will be stationed in the Rotunda and up on the second floor Rotunda near the House and Senate chambers and will be available to speak with legislators. Coalition lobbyists will be available to help facilitate meetings with legislators.

Can’t attend Capitol Day?

If you can’t attend the lobby day but still want to advocate, contact your legislator and ask for support in funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.

Still want more information?

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David Zahrt: Climate March

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David Zahrt with staff members Lisa Hein, Diane Graves, Anita O’Gara and Cheri Grauer

On August 11, David Zahrt visited the INHF office. David worked here part-time until 2010 doing outreach to encourage land protection in the Loess Hills. David and his siblings together protected their multi-generation family land near Turin through INHF. Now known as Reese Homestead, the homestead is owned by Monona County Conservation Board; the prairie hills around it are owned by the Iowa DNR.

After David worked for INHF, he moved to Nevada. He stopped through Des Moines because he has been on the Climate March since March 1st, 2014. The goal of this walk is to change the heart and mind of Americans, our elected leaders and people across the world by stressing the importance of acting now to address the climate crisis. There are 320 marchers on this walk from 37 states and seven countries; 35 members have pledged to walk full time. The walk started in Los Angeles, and marchers average about 15 miles per day. They hope to reach Washington, D.C. by November 1.

We wish David the best of luck on the rest of his journey! To learn more information about the walk, read blog posts, meet the marchers and more, check out their website.

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Mark C. Ackelson Fellowship

_MG_9979 Maquoqueta Caves Natural Bridge HDR_revisedDo you have a heart for activism as well as for Iowa’s land, water, wildlife and people? The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is looking for a dedicated conservationist to work with us on a temporary assignment to promote increased, reliable, consistent state funding for Iowa conservation. Continue reading

Speak up for REAP on March 18!

Spring Brook Lake ... Fall foliage25 years ago, the Iowa REAP Program bill passed the Iowa House with 100 votes. The desire to protect Iowa’s land, water and wildlife for future generations was unanimous. This year, in celebration of the over over $300 million in benefits for Iowans with conservation projects in all 99 counties, we want to keep that momentum going.

Join Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Iowa REAP Alliance, Iowa Environmental Council and many others at the capitol March 18 to voice your support for Iowa’s REAP Program! REAP Day at the Statehouse is our chance to show Iowa legislators that Iowans value protecting our natural resources and supporting outdoor recreation and is a historic opportunity to push for full funding—$25 million for its 25th year! Continue reading

Get more conservation for your Farm Bill money

Photo credit: TumblingRun / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: TumblingRun / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Written by Duane Sand, INHF Public Policy Director

An essential farm policy reform gained major momentum last week, and your calls now may help it become law. More than 30 national farm, commodity and conservation organizations have agreed to details for restoring conservation compliance requirements for those receiving federal crop and revenue insurance subsidies.

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation has worked for this kind of reform for over two years. Lawmakers have often told us the farm lobby would kill this reform, even though the Senate voted for such change in 2012. Now we’ve learned the farm lobby will not fight this change, provided conservation groups stop seeking limits on farm payments.

Continue reading

Your legislators need to hear from you!

e1365690539We are entering a critical time during the legislative process. For the first time in many years, the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP) has a real chance at being fully funded! But we need your help. Legislators are saying they really aren’t hearing from their constituents that conservation is a priority. There’s an easy remedy.

Continue reading

Gift to Iowa’s Future Day

Over 20 landowners, families and organizations were honored for their gifts to conservation in 2012.

Over 20 landowners, families and organizations were honored for their gifts to conservation in 2012.
Photo by Jessica Rilling

On Monday, April 1, members of the INHF staff joined Governor Terry Branstad, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and other legislators at the Iowa State Capitol to recognize individuals, families, businesses and organizations for gifts to Iowa’s future in 2012 in the form of land or land value for conservation. Continue reading