Iowa should allow more access to the beauty of our state

Last time, I outlined some of the history behind the condition of Iowa’s state parks, which, in spite of broad popularity among Iowans, have been faced with a chronic lack of funding, staffing cuts and legislative efforts to halt the expansion of public lands in the state.

I return now to my conversations with Silvia Secchi at the University of Iowa and Kevin Mason at Waldorf University. I asked them not only about the origins of today’s challenges, but also what can be done to rectify the problems faced.

Unlike the effort to establish a “Hawkeye National Forest” in the 1930s and ’40s, Mason believes that any today efforts to expand the scope of public lands in Iowa would likely have to be done through state action, rather than the federal government. To this end, Mason noted an important first step in better treatment of Iowa’s public lands, before any talk of expansion, would merely be for the state to follow through with what has already been nominally committed to.

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