Proverbs tells us that good things come to those who wait. However, when it comes to funding Iowa’s Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreational Trust Fund, our legislators have taken “waiting” to truly biblical proportions. The Legislature has not allocated one penny to the fund since 2010 when voters overwhelmingly approved this constitutionally protected funding source to improve our water quality, protect our soil, enhance our wildlife habitat and increase our outdoor recreational opportunities. It has been a decade of legislative inaction and absent leadership on these vital outdoor conservation measures. Some might call that downright slothfulness, and they would be correct.

Fortunately, we in Linn County have not been waiting for the prairie grasses and pollinators to grow under our feet. We have taken action through our voter-approved $40 million dollar Linn County Water and Land Legacy Bond Fund, which is funding projects such as targeted wetlands and key floodwater storage areas, stream restorations, new wildlife and hunting areas, enhanced parks, trail systems and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Additionally, in 2014 the voters of rural Linn County approved a 10 year Local Option Sales Tax where 25% of the collected revenue, or about $1.5 million annually, is utilized by the Linn County Conservation Board for our natural areas, parks, streams and trails.

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