DES MOINES, Iowa – Jan. 14, 2020 – Ducks Unlimited and its conservation partners applaud the announcement Tuesday by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds encouraging legislators to improve water quality and soil health by fully funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
“Gov. Reynolds showed strong leadership in her desire to give our children and grandchildren healthier soils, waters and wildlife,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam. “Funding the Trust would give farmers and conservation partners the resources to work cooperatively to make historic improvements on Iowa’s landscape.”
The Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund is a permanent and constitutionally protected funding source overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2010 to conserve Iowa's natural resources. Years later, the Trust Fund sits empty. When funded, it will create a permanent, accountable source of revenue to improve fish and wildlife habitat, soil and water conservation, and quality of life throughout all 99 counties.
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, which produces pet food at three Iowa sites and purchases ingredients from Iowa farms, has committed $1 million to Ducks Unlimited to protect and improve 1,600 acres of wetland and grasslands across Iowa and praised the governor’s direction.
“Purina applauds Gov. Reynolds’ leadership in working to make Iowa’s natural resources more sustainable for future generations of pet owners and outdoor enthusiasts,” said Joe Sivewright, CEO of Nestlé Purina PetCare in the Americas. “We have more than 1,000 proud associates working in Iowa, and we’re pleased to see the public and private sectors working together with conservation and agriculture groups to promote healthy water, soil and wildlife habitat in Iowa.”
The trust would provide significant funding for investments in voluntary soil and water conservation practices and technology that could improve yields and profits on Iowa farms, while conserving essential soil and water resources consistent with Iowa’s Nutrient Management Strategy.
Less than 10 percent of Iowa’s wetlands remain, which has a serious impact on hunters, outdoors enthusiasts and the economy. More than $2 million is spent every day by Iowa sportsmen and women on hunting and fishing. Over the last two decades, Iowa has lost more than 1.6 million acres of habitat suitable for pheasants, waterfowl and other small game. And more than half of Iowa’s waters ranked “poor” and 500 waterways are “impaired.”
By funding the trust, state lawmakers will ensure Iowans will benefit from improved waterfowl habitat, more outdoor recreational opportunities and cleaner water.
“Funding the Trust is a win for conservation and will strengthen Iowa’s economy and outdoors. We thank Gov. Reynolds for her initiative, and support this effort,” Putnam said.
Visit www.ducks.org/fund-the-trust to learn more.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14.5 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.