This past August, Clayton County CAN! hosted a booth at the Clayton County Fair and held a board retreat session. At the fair booth we showcased a watershed model and distributed literature regarding the imperative to fund the Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. We also collected banner signatures of those who support funding the trust by raising the sales tax 3/8 of one cent. Learn More about Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy (IWILL). Essentially in 2010, 63 percent of Iowa’s electorate voted to create the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Unfortunately, because of the state legislature’s inaction to raise the state sales tax 3/8 of a cent, it has remained unfunded.
We believe it is time to #FundTheTrust and make an investment in Iowa’s future.
At a recent public meeting in Edgewood, the Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Chuck Gipp was asked how would the funding the trust fund affect the DNR’s budget crisis, which has led to among many problems, staff reductions, the reorganization of the Forestry Bureau, and the inevitable closing of State Parks. His response was certain, “funding of the trust would solve everything.” Not only would it shore up the DNR it would overall create permanent, reliable, substantial funding aimed at improving our water quality, protecting our soil, enhancing our wildlife habitat and increasing outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Iowa.
During the board retreat session we established several goals. One of our priority goals is:
In concert with our mission, “To create a unified voice, inspiring increased environmental awareness and land stewardship in Clayton County, Iowa.” Clayton County CAN! will network with Clayton County organizations, educate them about the need to fund IWILL. Next, persuade them to collect 20+ banner signatures, photograph the signed banner and post them on our website and social media pages. Importantly, photos will be sent to the Clayton County state legislature delegation.
As a result we are in pursuit of Clayton County organizations to participate in the Clayton County CAN! #FundtheTrust Challenge. If you are the leader of an organization, club, business etc. please contact us. By accepting the challenge your group members will sign the #FundtheTrust Banner and take a picture of your group with the banner. The pictures will then be delivered to our elective state representatives.