Iowa Water Fowlers Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

6,676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Legislative Update : A lot of information folks. Enjoy

Budget negotiations continue. Natural resource funding is being unfairly targeted for very large budget cuts. The Iowa DNR will be funded at its lowest level in over 20 years if the Senate accepts the Iowa House budget. We do have the power and potential to connect your local legislators to these issues. This is our BEST chance for their support in the future.

1. Invite your legislators to a local clean-up or river trails event, encourage other to do the same - explain why this is important to you and your community.

2. Create an event - organize a field trip among local legislators, outfitters and river supporters to highlight the importance of your local resource - invite the press.

3. Educate yourself - contact your County Conservation Board to learn more about river projects and opportunities in your area.

River Restoration, River Trails, and Dam Safety/Flood Mitigation: the Senate version of RIIF (appropriations bill) still shows a $75K appropriation for River Restoration and Dam Mitigation. We are pleased to see this appropriation remains in the budget, but continue to express the need for a full $1M appropriation to address today's river projects and issues, and our concern about such a low appropriation/prioritization for rivers - a vital resource that is underfunded and overlooked. Contact HOUSE <> Appropriations leadership and urge them to support this appropriation.

The Senate budget has $2.5M/year over the next 2 years for Lake Delhi - "For costs associated with dam repair for a lake with public access..." We do not consider this natural resource funding because the Lake Delhi Dam has a very negative impact on the river system and because of the large and heavily eroding watershed, a new impoundment will once again soon fill with eroded soil. But, legislators had pressure to respond and assist in repairing the devastation at Delhi - legislators need pressure to respond to the need for statewide river funding. IRR worked hard this year to raise awareness about river issues at the Capitol - sustaining a presence and voice - $75K today...imagine the possibilities of us all coming together. Find your legislators <> .

In a win for our hard work, the Senate eliminated all language that would have legislatively moved clean water programs from the DNR to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. There are still concerns that the Governor may move the clean water 319 Program without legislative support. We should all be very concerned about the cuts in water quality monitoring and the devastating cuts in DNR staff by Governor Branstad.

REAP: In the Senate budget REAP funding remains at $12.375M for the next two years. In the House budget REAP is even lower.


We are pleased to share with you that IRR was awarded a REAP CEP <> Grant by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on Friday, June 14 to develop and pilot the Master River Steward Program. IRR board members Robin Fortney and Dr. Mary Skopec and volunteer Dr. Jim Pease developed a grant proposal for a program that embodies Environmental Education principles by providing hands-on classroom and field-based training for adults interested in knowing more about Iowa's river systems. Participants will be able to use that knowledge to develop river protection and restoration projects, so future generations can enjoy these resources. The eight week course focuses on riverine systems, including skills to paddle and navigate rivers, restore aquatic habitat, improve water quality, and understand policies related to floodplains, river protection and restoration. The Master River Steward program builds on a network of river experts in various partner agencies and organizations and helps adult learners collaborate to protect and improve Iowa's rivers. Thanks to the leadership and vision of Robin, Mary and Jim, IRR will soon provide a comprehensive resource for river users to broaden their knowledge and enrich their experiences.

IRR Director Awarded 40 Under 40 by the New Leaders Council
From Jerry Peckumn: The IRR Board and I are very proud of Rosalyn Lehman's recent honor of being awarded one of forty outstanding new leaders. There were over 400 nominations from across the country for this prestigious award from the New Leaders Council. Rosalyn not only has devoted her talent and energy to IRR over the last 4 years, but she played a very important role in organizing all the groups and people it took to pass Iowa's constitutional amendment for natural resource funding. Under Rosalyn's leadership IRR has gone beyond an annual conference by adding many new river programs - River Congress, Rivers Rock festival, River Rascals youth program, Master River Steward program, and organized legislative educational activities, added a statehouse lobbyist, edits and helps write a valuable legislative update about river issues, and has met with many, many people to promote Iowa Rivers. She has been a loyal and dedicated leader, even when IRR funds have become nearly depleted. The rivers, and all of us who care, owe her our greatest gratitude and respect.

The 40 Under 40 Awards were created by New Leaders Council to help recognize the hard work of a diverse group of young leaders including elected officials, inspiring community organizers, as well as non-profit and policy leaders who exemplify the spirit of progressive political entrepreneurship. Other Iowa awardees: Representative Tyler Olson and Zachary Mannheimer, Executive Director, Des Moines Social Club - CONGRATULATIONS! New Leaders Council » 40 Under 40 » Winners » 2011 <>

River Rascals - August

IRR is preparing for our third year of River Rascals with the leadership of board member, Robin Fortney. This program offers urban kids an opportunity to experience (with adult volunteers) the wonders of rivers and the surrounding natural environment - a first for all youth participants. River Rascals provides a rich river experience, including instruction on paddling, water safety, river etiquette, river biology and river issues such as water quality and water monitoring. Most of all, kids get all this while having FUN! 'Rascals get hooked on rivers.' 2010 Photos <>

We are pleased to be partnering with Children and Family Urban Ministries in Des Moines, the Cedar River Festival Group in Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Project AWARE and Evelyn Davis Learning Academy/Boone Y-Camp to deliver this important program and experiences to kids across the state.

VOLUNTEER - We need your help! River Rascals is a volunteer led program and we are looking for adult volunteers to assist with a group of ten 5th graders on one (or more) of three Saturday's in August (6, 13, 20) in the Des Moines area. If you are interested and would like to be a part of River Rascals, please e-mail [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> .

DONATE - We also need contributions to help with the cost of lunches, supplies (journals, canoe gear, cameras, etc.) and some professional facilitation. Please send you contribution to PO Box 72, Des Moines, IA 50301 or you can donate online at <> to [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> .

Project AWARE - July 9-16

This year's Project AWARE expedition is scheduled for July 9 to 16 on the Little Turkey, Turkey and Volga rivers in northeast Iowa. Project AWARE combines river cleanup, recreation and education into a meaningful and rewarding experience. While the expedition lasts an entire week, volunteers may stay and help for as little or as long as they like. Registration deadline is Friday, June 24th . For more information: Iowa DNR: Project AWARE - July 9-16, 2011; Turkey River Watershed <> .

Iowa's 1st Water Park Now OPEN - Charles City

Charles City Whitewater is officially open to the public! Whitewater park Grand Opening Celebration - July 29, 2011.
Charles City Riverfront Park - Live Webcam <>


New YouTube Video: Environmental Protections Undermined Nationwide

A national network of state level environmental organizations, including the Iowa Environmental Council, has produced a new, YouTube video: "Our values, our environment, our future," to draw attention to the impact of current and proposed state and federal budget cuts on environmental safeguards across the nation. Melissa Gavin, Executive Director of the State Environmental Leadership Program, explains: "Basic protections for air and water quality are on the chopping block in states throughout the country. At the same time, EPA's budget has also been under attack. People need to know that part of what is getting slashed is our capacity to enforce laws that protect health and quality of life-even funds that help us maintain sewage treatment and drinking water purification plants." READ MORE ... <>

Seven- and three-minute versions of the video are available for viewing at the following urls - please share this video:

Our values, our environment, our future - 7 minutes <>

Our Values, our environment, our future - 3 minutes <>

Kayaking Classes at CanoeSport Outfitters

Saturday, June 25th: Kayaking Fundamentals I

Sunday, June 26th: Kayaking Fundamentals II

The best course for paddlers seeking their first instruction or first-time kayakers looking to learn their basic skills. We discuss the basics of boat control and introduce risk reduction, hazard identification, and other safe paddling practices. We teach how to perform a proper wet exit, how to land your kayak, and how to launch your kayak. In addition we introduce the fundamental strokes and the proper technique to develop sound paddling habits. Meet at the Lake Ahquabi boat rental building near the beach. Bring a change of clothes and dress to get wet.
Prerequisite: None

This course builds on the skills learned in Fundamentals I, continuing to introduce the skills needed for safe touring and sea kayaking. It's the course to take if you plan to paddle on large bodies of water such as Lake Red Rock, Rathbun, or Saylorville or expect to be paddle away from the shore. In particular we focus on how to perform basic rescues and techniques designed to improve boat control and efficiency. A great deal of time is also spent onedging, bracing, and balance. This course combined with Fundamentals I prepares paddlers to test for a BCU Star 2 award. Meet at the Lake Ahquabi boat rental building near the beach. Bring a change of clothes and dress to get wet.
Prerequisite: Kayaking Fundamentals I

Cost is $100 plus tax

Cost is $100 plus tax

For more information and to register, go to Instruction <>

DNR Dams Maintenance Open Houses

Anyone interested in learning more about dam maintenance can stop by the following open houses any time between 3 and 7 p.m. to discuss their questions one-on-one with DNR and NRCS staff. Open houses are listed alphabetically by city. If there is not an open house near you, contact Jonathan Garton <mailto:[email protected]> , 515-281-6940.




June 30


Fairfield Public Library, 104 West Adams Ave.

July 12

West Des Moines

West Des Moines Public Library, 4000 Mills Civic Parkway

July 25

Mount Ayr

Mount Ayr Rural Electric Coop, 1502 West South St.

July 19


Lake Miami Meeting Facility, 1270 635th St.

August 2


Rock Island Depot, 102 Chestnut St

August 9


Onawa Public Library, 707 Iowa Ave.

Please share this e-News with individuals, organizations or groups that would be interested in receiving this information.

Find us on Facebook <!/pages/Iowa-Rivers-Revival/147694511915799> - post pictures, recent river experiences or relevant issues.

Have a great week!

Rosalyn Lehman

Executive Director

Iowa Rivers Revival

the frugal fowler
2,832 Posts
I want to comment on the budget cut issue, and this is not aimed at all the DNR, just the local park ranger here at Pine Lake. He got a 6 grand raise this year. He already makes 60+k a year. He spends most of the day not in the park. And yet they cannot mow the state park. As of right now, I have never seen him on a mower. They pay someone to mow the sources of revenue (camp ground, beach) and the rest is mowed volunteer. The DNR sited that They do not have the money to mow the along the trails and such. Does anyone esle see an issue with the system. They have tried to fire him several times, but he takes them to court and wins. The systems broke, and it isn't just the economy that is breaking it. plus, his base salary is 60k, Any hours over 40 and they pay him over time also. So guess what, there are no checks and balances for him so he has overtime every week......this is horse shit!

6,676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you talked with any of your senators or reps about the issue?
What have they said if you have talked with them?

Don't feel bad brother, had a meeting here a while back about them maybe opening up some bow hunting opportunities on a state park here and they only wanted to do like 25 doe tags. I asked why not allow 5 bow hunters everyday of the week hunt the entire bow season?

He said it would mean I would have to manage more deer hunters. I stood back for a second and said what? That is your job you just don't get to set around on your ass and do as little as you want because you think you own the park. You work for us my friend lets get that strait.

Didn't mean to be like that but I felt it was the right place for it. Then I said 25 doe tags only, why not let guys harvest a buck with their state tags if one just so happens to walk out? After all they do just as much damage to a car or truck as a doe don't they.

I don't know what to do about some of these cases we have that we find crap like this. A few bad apples can ruin the whole lot just by affiliation and folks perception.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts