Serious threats face Iowa IDNR waterfowl habitat restoration efforts and enhancement of Iowa's public waterfowling areas.
Over the past few months I have heard rumblings from a federal level that some may be considering to raise Iowa's NAWCA match ratio higher than the present 2 to 1. What this would do is put our IDNR and waterfowlers of the state at a huge disadvantage when competing for Federal NAWCA dollars to restore, enhance or protect Vital Duck production habitat.
Raising the match ratio bar for a state who's population overall when compared to other states, is small would further put us as a state, as waterfowlers virtually out of the game. It would further add higher hurtles for us as waterfowlers and our IDNR and partners to raise said necessary revenues to even qualify for said NAWCA grant dollars to restore valuable wetland habitat in Iowa where we have nearly lost 98% and 99% of Native Prairie. This potential effort would seriously hurt us as a waterfowling community because we as a whole highly depend upon joint partnership dollars to increase, enhance and protect vital waterfowl habitat in the state. This even applies to present areas we have. NAWCA dollars are used in a lot of cases to enhance, improve habitat conditions and management ability of said public waterfowling waters in Iowa.
So I ask that you stand up as a waterfowler to defend our NAWCA match ability to compete with others who have a larger advantage than we do. Right now the match ratio for states like ND,SD,MT are strait up 1 to 1 match and I think that is fair based on what we know of the region when it comes to existing habitat and duck production ability. Lets protect our ability to compete for these Federal Waterfowling Habitat dollars and not let others try to stack the deck against us.
Many wetlands have been restore in the North zone and have created huge opportunity for Iowa duck hunters, Many wetlands across Iowa, River bottoms, Shallow lakes have been enhanced by those vital habitat dollars. Do you wish to see the opportunity to continue to improve our waterfowling habitat and improved management capabilities stripped away because some have failed to secure sound conservation policy with in the Federal Farm Bill that Ultimately protects vital duck production habitat?
If you do, then I guess you would clearly support the idea that Not a Single dime or penny of NAWCA dollars should be spent outside of the US Duck production region. Make no mistake about it folks your voice and your help is needed the affirm that Iowa's Federal NAWCA match ratio remain fair so that we can compete for those dollars against other states who have larger populations and ability to meet match requirements or who's match ratio is lower than ours.
Other pressing rumblings that I have heard from a federal level is that some are suggesting that if the Federal Duck stamp Increase is passed that said revenues generated be spent in the Dakota's. Again folks we pay just like everyone else and we sure and the hell don't limit NR waterfowlers from coming to hunt our state. We also have wetlands, lakes, river systems that need those federal duck stamp dollars to improve our states waterfowl habitat, waterfowl hunting and Waterfowl Habitat Management abilities. Again I say we as a whole and as duck hunters of the state of Iowa should not suffer because some have failed to SECURE sound Waterfowl Habitat Conservation policy with in the Federal Farm Bill. Ones shortcomings if you will should not come at the expense of others. Pure and simple. Certainly Not Iowa's Identified Duck Production Region or the Waterfowlers of the state.
What Can you do to prevent these crippling ideas? I will flat out tell you!
Call up and send e mails to Senator Tom Harkin & Chuck Grassley number 1 and Your own senator or DC representative from your region number 2, AND TELL THEM, POINT BLANK.
Some may be seeking to increase Iowa's NAWCA match ration putting us as a state at a Huge Disadvantage to compete for those federal dollars. Some may be seeking to strip Iowa and Iowa duck hunters of their federal Duck stamp ratio which would put all increased federal duck stamp revenues generated in Iowa into the Dakotas. Do not let that happen, Do Not allow Iowa and Iowa Duck hunters suffer any greater loss than what we have already. We simply cannot afford it.
Thanks folks for your time, Your help and Support on these 2 very vital issues that we could be facing!
Iowa Duck Hunter!