Habitat & Conservation  |  02/10/2022

Iowa Action Alert: Anti-Public Lands Bill Needs IMMEDIATE Opposition


Anti-public lands legislation introduced yesterday in the Iowa Legislature threatens increased opportunities for outdoor recreation AND the rights of private landowners

WHAT: Anti-public lands legislation - Senate Study Bill 3134 - was introduced late yesterday in the Iowa Legislature. This bill threatens increased opportunities for outdoor recreation AND the rights of private landowners throughout the Hawkeye State.

BACKGROUND: Senate Study Bill 3134 is a new version of a previously defeated bill (House File 542 in 2019) designed to sabotage opportunities for willing landowners to sell property to county conservation boards or the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Under Senate Study Bill 3134, landowners wanting to sell property to County Conservation Boards or the Iowa DNR would only receive between 60%-80% of the value for their land.

Additionally, the seller would be prohibited from taking a deduction on the value difference which would also restrict their ability to make a charitable contribution. This bill would limit the rights of private landowners in how they may choose to sell their land.

CALL TO ACTION: Contact members of the Natural Resources and Environment subcommittee and oppose Senate Study Bill 3134 with the following message:

Dear Legislator,

As Iowa strives to attract and maintain people to live, work and raise families in our state, we need to provide quality of life features that they demand. At the top of list —along with good jobs — is a clean, healthy environment and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Public land plays a special role in the lives of Iowans because it delivers those opportunities. For generations, Iowans have made memories in parks, on trails, in woodlands and prairies. We need to continue that legacy for future Iowans. We need to support our existing parks, trails and wildlife areas AND continue to look for ways to expand our outdoor opportunities with strategic acquisitions from willing sellers.

Senate Study Bill 3134 infringes on the property rights of private citizens and severely handicaps the future of outdoor recreation on public lands, our natural resources, and opportunities to invest in strategic water quality projects throughout the state. Please consider rescinding this bill – the majority of Iowans agree that we should be investing more in conservation, not less.

Iowa Natural Resources & Environment Subcommitee members: