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Public lands

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Public lands

Iowa’s public lands provide open space for outdoor recreation, protect precious wildlife habitat and create economic opportunity across the state. The quality of life provided by outdoor recreation opportunities plays an important role in stimulating local economies and revitalizing rural Iowa. More than 56 million visits are made to Iowa’s parks, trails, lakes and rivers each year. Annually, outdoor recreation in Iowa generates $8.7 billion in consumer spending, $649 million in local state tax revenue and 83,000 jobs.

The Resource Enhancement and Protection program (REAP) is one of Iowa’s most effective conservation programs. Created in 1989, REAP uses funds from Iowa’s gaming receipts to support the state’s natural and cultural resources in all 99 counties.

Over the past 30 years, REAP has supported more than 15,000 projects, including:

  • State Parks and Wildlife Management Areas
  • County Conservation
  • City Parks & Open Spaces
  • Soil & Water Quality improvements
  • Conservation Education
  • Historical and Cultural Preservation

Despite its success, REAP has never been fully funded. Without renewal from the state legislature, REAP will end in June 2021.

Megaphone graphicINHF recommends that REAP be fully funded at $20 million and urges the legislature to extend the program's sunset to at least 2050.