Iowa BHA Opposes Attempts to Block Public Land Acquisitions

Attacks to our public lands and public access can take many forms at the legislature. They can come as proposals that focus on maintaining current public lands rather than acquiring new lands, No-Net Gain bills which mandate the sale of acres equal to the amount of new acres acquired, or outright sell off.

Most recently, Iowa legislators have proposed bills that would prohibit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources from purchasing lands or being gifted lands by an nonprofit organization. This prohibition will severely limit the Iowa DNR's ability to acquire new public lands that could be placed into the public trust in the Hawkeye State.

As reported in February 2024, House File 2104 failed to pass out of subcommittee by a unanimous vote. This was due largely in part to the hunters, anglers, and trappers that spoke up on behalf of public access. HF 2104 would have removed the ability of the Iowa DNR to purchase public land in a competitive manner or acquire it from non-profit organizations who acquired it in a competitive manner. The Iowa Chapter of BHA commended Representatives Mommsen, Sherman, and Scholten for standing with Iowa’s hunters, anglers, and trappers in support of public lands.

The Senate companion bill, SF 2324 (previously SBB 3129) would prevent the Iowa DNR from buying land at auction or receiving land that was donated to it by a nonprofit organization that purchased the land at auction. SF 2324 has passed through the Senate by a vote of 30 Yes- 17 No

It is imperative that Iowa's hunters, anglers, and trappers contact the members of the House of Representatives to tell them to OPPOSE SF 2324 and to support the enhancement of access to Iowa's public lands.



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