Iowa should allow greater access to the beauty of our state

Last time, I outlined some of the story behind the plight of Iowa State Parks, which, despite widespread popularity among the Iowanis, have faced a chronic lack of funding, staff cuts, and legislative efforts to stop the expansion of public lands in the state.

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

Unlike the effort to establish a “Hawkeye National Forest” in the 1930s and 1940s, Mason believes that any effort today to expand the reach of public lands in Iowa should probably be done through state action, rather than the federal government. To that end, Mason noted that an important first step in better treatment of Iowa’s public lands, prior to any expansion talk, would simply be for the state to follow what it has already been nominally committed to.

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