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Land Stewardship

Iowa’s fertile soils, rural and urban land, prairie and forests provide a home for Iowa’s people and wildlife, natural areas to explore, and support astonishing agricultural productivity.

This landscape is part of cultural history and a source of pride for many Iowans. To maintain the many benefits provided by the land, we must manage it responsibly.

Agricultural land management

Land Stewardship

Ninety-two percent of Iowa’s land is currently in agricultural production. It is critical that the stewards of this land – Iowa’s farmers and landowners – implement conservation practices on the land that are both environmentally and economically-sound.

Conservation-minded land management improves soil quality – the foundation of a healthy, productive landscape. Healthy soil supports agricultural productivity, improves water quality and wildlife habitat, helps decrease the risk and severity of flooding, and improves air quality and sequesters carbon. The Council supports adopting conservation practices on agricultural land to protect and preserve Iowa’s unique landscape.

Natural areas

land stewardship

While Iowa’s natural areas make up a small share of the state’s land area, they are highly valued by its people. Iowa’s parks, trails and nature preserves provide a diverse landscape for Iowans and visitors to the state to enjoy, provide habitat for wildlife, and boost Iowa’s economy. 

Protecting and preserving Iowa’s wild places make the state a better place to live, and maintains an important part of our heritage and for current and future Iowans. The Iowa Environmental Council supports protections for Iowa’s natural areas and sustainable funding for management and conservation.

The Council supports responsible land management and conservation funding. We are committed to:

  • Achieving a sales tax increase of 3/8 of a cent to fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, which funds unmet needs in existing programs
  • Fully funding Iowa’s Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP), at $20 million per year
  • Securing adequate funding for the Iowa Department of Natural Resource and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to manage environmental and conservation programs

Join us in advocating for clean lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands.