Why Iowa's Water & Land Legacy amendment is good for Iowa farms...
Iowa’s Water & Land Legacy Amendment was a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2010. It created the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. The Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund provides a permanent, dedicated and accountable funding mechanism for protection of water quality, conservation of agricultural soils and improvement of natural areas in Iowa,
including fish and wildlife habitat.
According to a recent published report in Wallace's Farmer
Farmers view investment in soil & water conservation as important
"That farmers view conservation investment as a plus for rural
development is not surprising, because it's true," Arbuckle says.
"Research has shown that natural resource-based recreation investments
generate economic development. In addition, demand for soil and water
conservation assistance is greater than what state and federal
government have to offer right now. I think many farmers see this as an
opportunity both for them and for rural areas more generally."
Establishing the trust fund provided a permanent, reliable and accountable method for protecting vital natural resources, our soil, and our family farms for future generations
- The trust fund is dedicated to VOLUNTARY water quality, soil conservation and other conservation and enhancement programs
- The trust fund is permanent – a constitutionally-protected mechanism dedicated exclusively to natural resources
- The trust fund is accountable to Iowans through a public oversight committee, annual audits and performance reviews for the legislature
- This plan is the result of three years of bipartisan research and legislative work
- Voters approved the trust fund on Nov. 2, 2010 with 63% of the vote
Iowa's Water & Land Legacy is endorsed by Agriculture's Clean Water Alliance, the Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa Association of County Conservation Boards, Farmers Union, the Iowa State Soil Conservation Committee, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, and over 130 other organizations.
Ranchers, farmers, producers, and agricultural retailers all have a vested interest in keeping both our young people, and our soil, on our land. The backbone of Iowa's economy is agriculture and over 90% of Iowa's land is privately owned. Iowa's Water & Land Legacy provides funding for voluntary
practices to help improve water quality, conserve agricultural soils, and protect our natural resources.
Rural Economic Development
According to Iowa States Center for Agriculture and Rural Development 2007 study, “natural resources can be effectively used as part of an economic development strategy and that quality of life due to amenities at the community level can play an important role in local and regional economic growth policy.” One of the best ways we can keep our kids & grandchildren farming and working in rural Iowa is to invest in our soil and invest in outdoor recreational opportunities that give them additional incentive to stay on the farm.
Additionally, investments in reducing soil erosion pay off economically. Studies have shown that for every $1 invested in reducing soil erosion we gain over $5 in economic benefit. This is a substantial benefit to Iowa's economy and helps keep Iowa farms sustainable for future generations of producers.
If interested in learning more about how Iowa's Water & Land Legacy helps Iowa's farmers contact:
Mark Langgin - Executive Director/Iowa's Water & Land Legacy