To the editor:
According the National Izaak Walton League, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a sweeping rollback of Clean Water Act protections for streams and wetlands.
This proposal wipes away protection for as many as 20 million acres of wetlands because they do not have a continuous surface connection to a river or lake.
Iowans know about our water quality problems. What Iowa needs to do to reduce flooding and protect our drinking water, fishing and swimming is to slow water down.
Nearly all of our wetlands have been drained and tiled for corn and bean production. Hunters, birders and others who appreciate wildlife know the role of our wetlands in slowing water runoff and increasing infiltration.
When corn and bean prices were high, conservation efforts were torn out. Now that row crop farmers are barely breaking even, the hunt is on for more land to cultivate.
Some still think bigger is better. Why do you suppose HF 542 was introduced last week? Conservationists came out in the hundreds to protest a bill that would have prevented land owners from selling their land to the state, county or cities for conservation purposes.
A companion bill is still alive in the Iowa Senate.
As one who cares about soil health, wildlife and healthy rivers and lakes, I am sad to see that greed in D.C. and Des Moines is driving our policymakers to destroy our natural capital and our future.