Habitat & Conservation  |  03/18/2023

Bad Legislation Threatens Wildlife Habitat and Public Hunting Lands in Iowa


Senate File 516 has passed Iowa senate and is currently being considered by the house

It has been made clear that Senate File 516 was created with the intent to dramatically limit the Iowa DNR’s ability to protect, restore, and expand our public lands.  The bill has passed the Senate and is currently being considered in the Iowa House. It would decrease access to quality habitat and reduce opportunities for current and future generations to enjoy Iowa’s public lands and the wildlife that rely on them.

Due to this direct attempt to jeopardize wildlife habitat on state lands, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are asking for you to immediately voice your opposition to Senate File 516!

This bill will be discussed at the full House Environmental Protection Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 21. However, there will be no opportunity for public comment, so it is imperative to take action NOW and contact the members of the committee AND your own representative.

PF & QF Supporter Action Requested:

Email (preferred) or call the members of the House Environmental Protection Committee (click here for their contact information) as well as your own representative (click here for their contact information) today and politely urge them to oppose Senate File 516 with the following talking points:

  1. Senate File 516 repeals language supporting open spaces and recreational trails in the original bill.
  • FACT: “Iowa’s most significant open space lands are essential to the well-being and quality of life for Iowans and to the economic viability of the state’s recreation and tourism industry.” This statement is arguably even more true today than when it became law in 1988. 
  • CONCERN: Repealing this purpose statement would indicate decreased appreciation by the legislature of our soil, water, and wildlife resources.
  1. Senate File 516 repeatedly includes vague and subjective language about ‘maintenance’ of state lands.
  • FACT: Maintaining and managing diverse, natural areas for a variety of wildlife species is complicated work requiring professional training. These decisions are best made in the hands of the DNR’s wildlife management staff, ensuring the highest quality outcomes for wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities.  
  • CONCERN: This bill creates potential for politics to direct habitat management instead of wildlife experts.  All DNR properties currently follow a frequently updated management plan guiding activities for high quality habitat based on the latest wildlife science. Mandating that agencies re-create plans is an inefficient use of the DNR’s resources and will threaten much-needed habitat, harm wildlife populations, and reduce outdoor recreation opportunities.  

For questions related to Senate File 516, please contact Josh Divan, Pheasants Forever’s State Coordinator, at (515) 708-2371 or JDivan@PheasantsForever.Org.

Thank you for advocating for Iowa’s wildlife, public lands, and outdoor recreation opportunities!