To the editor:
Regarding HF 542: What were they thinking?
A few years ago, the Greene County Conservation Board managed to buy four acres of a hill sloping along the Raccoon River that had never been plowed or sprayed with herbicide.
The owner had cut native prairie grasses for bedding for many years. The result was that this piece of very fragile land remained covered with dense prairie without the encroachment of trees.
Greene County decided to buy the four acres to preserve a tiny remnant of the vast prairie that once covered 95 percent of the county. Experts have identified morethan 100 species of native prairie plants on this ground. Monarch butterfly and other insect-diversity research has been conducted on the prairie.
Hundreds of visitors have made the one-mile trek to the sight to see what Iowa was like in the past.
The farmer who owned that land knew that the thin top soil and glacial sand and gravel underneath would wash onto the Raccoon valley floor and into the river if plowed. So he did not break the soil.
Greene County stepped in to preserve it forever.
This could not have happened if the House Bill had been the law at the time when Greene County bought the land. Thanks to those legislators who stood up to the Farm Bureau on this one.