A "yes" vote would create the protected fund, but put no money into it. Supporters hope a future Legislature will take the next step - raising the sales tax. State law would then funnel the equivalent of a three-eighths of 1 percent sales tax into the fund, an estimated $150 million a year. Private donations could be deposited, too.An unfunded (for now) mandate that will empower a state agency not yet materialized, to bully, coerce, and litigate the landholders in this state.
Conservation trust fund amendment to go before Iowa voters
Not all of us have been good stewards but the changes in last 40 years in reducing soil runoff has improved river quality. Very few farmers even own a plow and no-till is nearly the standard farm practice.
More trees are growing in the state than 80 years ago. I've personally planted hundreds of hardwood trees on my fathers' land and acres owned by my brother.
So what's really at issue?
The groups pushing this seem to have a connection to hunting.
Supporters of the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund say it would improve water quality, save soil and help restore grasslands needed to return Iowa's shrinking pheasant population to levels that made it a draw for hunters years ago.Pheasants Forever has been purchasing land in this and the surrounding counties and I applaud their effort as a private organization in doing so.
But in order for this trust fund to be truly effective is to give it club. One that will be used against private land owners. State-wide rural zoning for land use would be in place to use against someone in order to increase game birds.
This is a form of "taking" of one's land without due process and soon you wouldn't be able to build your dream home on that 5 acres your uncle gave you in his will. You might be able to hunt dear on it. That is, if it isn't in a deemed "wetland" and the state removes the levee.
But that would never happen.
The consequences of the Environmental Protection Act is that it gave standing in the courts to animal species and the same will happen here. The ducks, pheasants and maybe the land itself will have a state paid advocate to "protect" them from the evil developer or those rich farmers.
I'm voting against it.