It is time to pay for the Natural Resources and Outdoor Trust Fund, reader says

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To the editor:

If we are going to have cleaner water and better swimming, boating and fishing in Iowa, we are going to have to pay for it.

The Farm Bureau and its friends oppose all rules that would reduce the farm-born pollution of our rivers and lakes, and the “voluntary” nutrient reduction program will not work without a lot of taxpayers’ money.

Iowans are going to have to pay farmers to reduce pollution.

One way to move toward the clean-water goal is through funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Trust Fund as recommended by Senator Matt McCoy in last Friday’s Des Moines Register. If we followed McCoy’s lead, more than 60 percent of the estimated $150 million a year that would be generated by the three-eighth’s of 1 percent sales tax increase would go to reducing the impact of Iowa-style industrial farming.

Senator McCoy lists several areas that would receive funding: 7 percent would go to lake restoration, 13 percent to conservation programs, 14 percent to watershed protection, 20 percent to Bill Northey’s Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and 23 per cent to Terry Branstad’s Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

In other words, 67 percent of the $150 million, or more than $100 million, would be used to clean up after our agricultural polluters.

The Farm Bureau opposed this bill last session even after getting their 10 percent fuel tax hike. The Farm Bureau acts in mysterious ways, but I believe this is the only way to improve Iowa’s outdoor recreation.

Mike Delaney, Dallas Center

1 COMMENT

  1. I know there many who will argue that they created the problem, they should pay for it. One reason I support the use of the Trust Fund is that to do conservation correctly it is going to require land that is currently in production to be taken out of production permanently. Much of it should never have been put into production anyway, but that is water under the bridge. Land will need to be converted to wetlands at the downstream ends of drainage districts. Buffer strips will need to be installed along streams (50′ should be a minimum) and around fields that exceed certain slopes. Farmers support the measure. The FB does not represent farmers. It represents corporate ag interests.

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