DNR Appropriations

Appropriations for Parks & Water

The Iowa legislature is working on the appropriations for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  Sierra Club has 4 items that need to be added to the proposal:

  1. The legislature needs to include significant additional funding for park maintenance, which would reduce the $100 million backlog in repairs.  Reporting by Erin Jordan in the Cedar Rapids Gazette indicated that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has estimated that it has a backlog of $100 million in maintenance of state park structures.  This includes rotting picnic shelters, sewage lagoon updates, and repairs needed due to the derecho in 2020.  Iowans and out-of-state visitors enjoy spending time in the state parks.  This is a public good and economic benefit to the state.  Therefore, additional funding needs to be made available to work down the deferred maintenance.  They say a stitch in time saves nine; in this case paying for deferred maintenance will save more costly repairs down the road.  (See Erin Jordan, “Iowa state parks need $100M in repairs”, Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 17, 2024). 

  2. The funding for REAP is set at $12 million in the appropriation bill.  The Iowa Code appropriates the funding for REAP to be $20 million.  We suggest that the funding level in the budget be set at $20 million.  REAP benefits counties as well as the state.  It has been severely underfunded for many years.  The Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program provides funding to protect Iowa’s natural areas, soil conservation, water quality and historical resources.  (See Iowa Code 455A.18(3)(a)) 

  3. The carbon dioxide pipelines that are being proposed will use a significant amount of water – whether surface water, shallow wells near rivers, or deeper aquifers.  Yet, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has not performed a detailed analysis of the water withdrawal to support the carbon dioxide pipelines plus how much water is in the aquifers.  We urge adding appropriations to support a water study, so that we have adequate amounts of water for drinking water and home usage, for feeding livestock, and for use by businesses and industries.

  4. Finally, we urge that the state adequately fund the water quality sensor network in our rivers and streams.  Last year, the appropriations were reduced.  It is time to fully restore the funding for the sensor network to $500,000.

What you can do

Ask your State Senator and your State Representative to change the appropriations for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to fund the $100 million in deferred maintenance for our state parks, to fully fund REAP at $20 million, to pay for a study of the water usage needs of the carbon dioxide pipelines and the quantity of water in the aquifers, and to fully restore the funding for the sensor network at $500,000.

To look up your house member, see www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/house

To look up your senate member, see www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/senate
To find your legislators, see www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find
Wapsipinicon State Park