Iowa state Capitol building in Des Moines

Conservation Policy

Giving a voice to the voiceless.

By many measures, Iowa has the most altered landscape in the nation. On this working landscape, the ripples from public policy changes can cause dramatic transformations across the state, creating or removing hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and natural resource protection.

Funding and incentives are critical to making real conservation impact across the state, from protecting our rivers and lakes to building important wildlife habitat and creating recreational opportunities for all Iowans. And yet, barely one percent of our entire state budget helps protect Iowa’s soil, water and other natural resources.

INHF works on a variety of conservation policies at the state and federal level. We provide leadership, educational support and communication platforms to advocate to policy makers the importance of protecting Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. We work to ensure that appropriations to our state agencies that protect natural resources have the necessary funding to carry out their missions. We also work on state and federal conservation funding initiatives, tax law/incentives and programs that provide quality of life benefits now and for future generations.

Our policy priorities:

Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund

INHF has been a leader in efforts to develop a permanent funding source to support Iowa’s natural resources. The Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, when funded, would support quality of life and natural resource initiatives that are important to Iowans. Learn more about the impact the Trust Fund will have throughout the state.

REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) program

Since 1989, REAP has helped fund the protection of Iowa’s beautiful and important natural resources. INHF annually advocates for fully funding the program at the $20 million level established in Iowa law. Most years, funding falls short of this need. Learn more about REAP's impact and INHF's work with the program.

Farm Bill

Federal programs funded through the federal Farm Bill, passed every five years, encourage and support conservation initiatives happening in Iowa. INHF works with partners through the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to ensure that the policies contained in the Farm Bill are used in the most effective way possible to achieve Iowa’s and the nation’s conservation goals, and that funding is sufficient to realize these objectives. Learn more about the Farm Bill and how it impacts Iowans.

Multi-use trail funding

INHF staff is actively engaged in local, state and federal policy that impacts multi-use trails. We provide educational information to elected leaders - enabling them to make informed decisions on funding, access and much more. Learn more about INHF's work on statewide and national trail policy.

Conservation tax issues

INHF is an advocate of tax benefits for conservation protection, and works on a state and national level to ensure that tax benefits available now stay accessible for Iowa landowners. Learn more about the tax benefits available for conservation.

To learn more about INHF’s policy work and how you can get involved, contact Public Policy Director Anna Gray at or 515-288-1846, ext. 41