Bill that threatens parks, trails and wildlife areas advances to the House

By Anna Gray on February 27, 2024 in Blog

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The Iowa Senate passed SF 2324 with a 30-17 vote on Wednesday, February 28th. This bill would restrict opportunities to grow Iowa’s parks, trails, and wildlife areas. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

The House declined to advance a similar bill earlier this session, but it is crucial that advocates continue to speak out against legislation that would hinder protection and enhancement of natural resource and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Please contact your Representative and Iowa House Leadership and urge them to oppose SF 2324.

Iowa House Leadership

Speaker Pat Grassley,

Majority Leader Matt Windschitl,

Upcoming public forums are a tremendous opportunity to speak with your Representative in-person. Most forums are listed here, and a full list is included below.

Concerns of SF 2324

Senate File 2324 would prohibit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources from acquiring land at an auction or from a nonprofit that acquired the property at an auction. While this bill might seem narrow in focus, it is just another attack on the Iowa DNR's ability to establish or expand parks, trails and wildlife areas in Iowa. If this bill passes, Iowa is going to miss out on future opportunities to protect important or threatened natural areas.

We've seen bills with the same goals for the last several years in the Iowa legislature, and Iowans respond the same way every time. They say they love our parks, and they want more places for outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat — not less.

During this legislative session, the Senate also introduced a bill that would have had a detrimental effect on Iowa’s outdoors, requiring that for every acre of park, trail or wildlife area added, an equal number of acres of existing public areas be sold. The bill was not introduced in time to meet the deadline requirements for the first legislative funnel and is considered dead. However, the bill underscores the need for conservation and outdoor advocacy.  

We need your voice to ensure that INHF and our partners can continue to grow and develop the outdoor amenities that you enjoy.

You can ask your legislators to invest, rather than limit opportunities that bring vitality to our communities, in quality of life initiatives by: 

Thank you for speaking out and advocating for Iowa's land, water and wildlife!

Upcoming Legislator Forums

Thursday March 7

  • Des Moines - 6pm-7:30pm, Des Moines March Town Hall, Sen. Petersen; Rep. Baeth, Rep. Bagniewski, Northwest Community Center 5110 Franklin Ave

Friday March 8

  • TBD (Washington County) - Washington Legislative Briefing, Sen. Driscoll; Rep. Hora, TBD 
  • Burlington - 8:00am-9:00am, Des Moines County 2024 Friday Forum March, Area Legislators, Greater Burlington Partnership 610 N. 4th Street Suite 200, Burlington  
  • Ankeny - 9:00am-10:00am Legislative Office Hours, Rep. Matson, Main Street Café & Bakery 2510 SW White Birch Dr, Ankeny  
  • Ankeny - 11:30am-1:00pm, Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative Update, Area Legislators, Ankeny Kirkendall Public Library 1250 SW District Dr, Ankeny  
  • Waterloo - 4:30pm-6:30pm, Cedar Valley Third Cedar Valley Legislative Forum, Area Legislators, Hawkeye Community College Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center 120 Jefferson St, Waterloo
  • Holstein - 6:00pm-7:30pm, Ida GOP Legislative Forum, Sen. Schultz; Rep. Holt, MidWest Deli & Grill 105 E 2nd St, Holstein

Saturday March 9

  • Eldridge - 8am-9am, Eldridge Discuss Iowa's 94th District (Weekly), Rep. Vondran, Tasty Café 209 E LeClaire Road, Eldridge  
  • Glenwood - 8:00am-9:00am, Glenwood Legislative Coffee, Sen. Costello; Rep. Sieck, Glenwood City Hall 5 N. Vine St.
  • Emmetsburg - 8:30am-9:30am, Emmetsburg Legislative Forum, Rep. Wills; Sen. Rowley, Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce 1121 Broadway St
  • Oskaloosa - 8:30am-9:30am, Oskaloosa Coffee & Conversation 2024 Area Legislators Smokey Row 109 S Market St 
  • Bedford - 9:00am-10:00am, Bedford Legislative Forum, Sen. Shipley, Taylor County Farm Bureau 607 Pollock Blvd
  • Spencer - 9:00am-10:00am, Eggs & Issues, Area Legislators, Spencer City Hall, 101 W 5th St
  • Denison - 10:00am-11:00am, Denison Legislative Coffee, Area Legislators, Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County 109 N Main St, Denison  
  • Storm Lake - 10:00am-11:00am, Storm Lake Legislative Forum, Sen. Evans; Rep. Jones, Kings Pointe 1520 E Lakeshore Dr
  • Grinnell - 10:00am-11:00am Grinnell Legislative Coffee, Sen. Sweeney, Drake Community Library (& Virtual) 932 Park St
  • Centerville - 10:00am-11:00am, Wayne County 2024 Legislative Forum, Sen. Sinclair, Sen. Westrich; Rep. Harris Chariton Valley Planning District office 308 N 12th St
  • Jefferson – 5pm-6pm, Greene County Meet Your Legislator, Sen. Green; Rep. Nordman, Thomas Jefferson Gardens of Greene County 201 E. Lincoln Way

Sunday March 10

  • 8:30am-10:00am, Marion Coffee and Conversation with Elizabeth and Molly, Sen. Donahue; Rep. Wilson, Uptown Coffee 760 11th St STE A, Marion