Last week Governor Branstad’s budget was presented to the Iowa legislature and public – we learned that the $1 million he supported last year for dam mitigation and safety and water trail development and maintenance was eliminated from his budget proposal for the next two years. Not only was funding for rivers eliminated – the entire Natural Resources budget took a huge hit – it seems that the Governor’s office is sending a message that Iowa’s natural resources are not an investment priority.
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/p ... 3301160082
Eliminating funding for these programs halts progress on projects established with last year’s appropriation and diminishes the value and effectiveness of the initial investment. IRR is advocating for an annual $2 million investment to continue and increase efforts began as a result of last year’s appropriation and we are also seeking additional funding to develop a much needed comprehensive River Restoration program that improves and enhances water quality, protects important habitats, promotes natural streambank stabilization, improves streambank and corridor aesthetics, and sets priorities for federal mitigation funds.
With nearly 74,000 miles of rivers and streams in Iowa, we need stable, long-term programs that invest in improving and protecting these important natural resources. Investing in Iowa’s rivers and streams is investing in Iowa.
How you can help:
1. Write your local legislator and let them know that you support $2 million in funding for Dam Mitigation and Water Trails and the need to establish a statewide River Restoration program. Your contacts can make a difference – your legislators need to hear from you. https://www.legis.iowa.gov/Legislators/find.aspx
2. Send a copy of the letter to your legislators expressing your support for this funding to the leadership of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee.
a. Matt McCoy, Senate Chair (Polk Co.): email@example.com
b. Daryl Beall, Senate Vice Chair (Webster Co.): firstname.lastname@example.org
c. Tim Kapucian, Senate Ranking Member (Benton Co.): email@example.com
d. Dan Husemen, House Chair (Cherokee Co.): firstname.lastname@example.org
e. Dave Maxwell, House Vice Chair (Poweshiek Co.): email@example.com
f. Dennis Cohoon, House Ranking Member (Des Moines Co.): firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper about the lack of prioritization and funding for Iowa’s natural resources.
a. Des Moines Register: email@example.com
b. Find your local paper: http://www.inanews.com/about/findaniowanewspaper.php
4. Attend IRR’s legislative reception on Monday, February 4, at the Noodle Zoo Café on E 6th and Locust in Des Moines from 5-7 p.m. Encourage your legislators to attend whether you can come or not – let them know why you care about investing and protecting Iowa’s rivers and streams. Please RSVP to Jenn Dreier if you can attend: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governor and Iowa Legislators Contact Information:
Governor Terry Branstad: 515.281.5211 or http://www.governor.iowa.gov/contact/
Iowa General Assembly (find a bill): http://www.legis.iowa.gov/index.aspx
Iowa Senators and Representatives: Find your legislators (if you would like a spreadsheet of all the current legislators, please let me know)
Iowa Senate: 515.281.3371
Iowa House: 515.281.3221
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