Category Archives: General News

Act on Climate Change

act on climate
To meaningfully address climate change and its costly impacts on our health, environment and economy, we must confront the leading contributor to climate change: carbon pollution.

Fossil fuel power plants are currently the largest concentrated source of carbon pollution. However, despite accounting for nearly 40% of our nation’s carbon pollution, existing power plants have no federal limits on the amount they emit. The EPA’s recently proposed Clean Power Plan aims to change that.

Arguably the single most important action the EPA has taken to address climate change to date, the proposed Clean Power Plan will require states to cut carbon pollution from their existing power plants and result in an overall national reduction of 30% by 2030 (from 2005 levels). Individual state goals vary depending on local factors.

In addition to the environmental impacts, climate change poses a significant health threat to Iowa. In the recently released Iowa Climate Statement 2014, scientists from 38 Iowa colleges and universities recognized that climate change can contribute to a wide range of health factors including respiratory and cardiovascular problems, increased incidence of vectors (mosquitoes, ticks, etc.) and vector-borne diseases, increased mental health issues and exposure to toxic chemicals, and decreased water quality.

Powerful opponents of the proposal with an interest in maintaining our dependence on coal are determined to undermine it. Your voice is critical. Public comments on the proposal are being accepted through Dec. 1. Take action today and urge the EPA to finalize the strongest possible standards that reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

Iowa Environmental Council to Partake in National Discussion about the Future of Food

This blog post was written by Water Program Director Susan Heathcote.

Tomorrow, a diverse group of producers, environmentalists, businesses and academics concerned with the issues and opportunities currently facing U.S. agriculture – including the Iowa Environmental Council – will gather in Washington D.C. to discuss the future of farms and food.

The public forum, “A Better Path from Farm to Fork: Policy Solutions for the Future of Food,” is co-hosted by National Geographic and AGree, an initiative that seeks to drive positive change in the food and agriculture system by connecting and challenging leaders from diverse communities to catalyze action and elevate food and agriculture as a national priority.

Last Monday, Nov. 10, AGree released three new consensus recommendations on Working Landscapes, Food and Nutrition and International Development. These recommendations are intended to serve as roadmaps for action.

The public forum, which will discuss policy solutions, food and agriculture partnerships and AGree’s recommendations, will be held at National Geographic’s D.C. headquarters from 3:30 – 5 p.m. Central Time. AGree will be live streaming the event at http://www.foodandagpolicy.org/livestream.

A partners Forum that will include leaders from more than 100 organizations, will also be held on Wednesday, November 19.

I have been serving on the Advisory Committee for the AGree Initiative on Agriculture and Food Policy for the past three years. In my work with AGree, I have been most actively engaged in the AGree workgroup on Working Landscapes. This workgroup was tasked with providing policy recommendations on how the US can improve agricultural production to feed a growing world population while also improving environmental outcomes.

In Iowa, over 90% of our land area is dedicated to agricultural production. Agriculture has a big foot print on the Iowa landscape, so we have a big stake in the management of agricultural land to produce not just food, fiber and fuel, but also clean water, air and diverse habitat for plants, animals and people.

The AGree Initiative is an opportunity to work with a diverse coalition to find common ground on controversial issues and develop shared strategies for achieving transformative change. Our goal is to help advance a future that supports productive and profitable farms where soil, water and biodiversity are conserved and enhanced; and environmental quality is improved.

AGree differs from other initiatives seeking to address similar issues in two ways – it’s approach and long-term commitment.

AGree used an integrated approach to identify opportunities that will result in mutually beneficial outcomes for its various stakeholders, thus promoting cooperation and better positioning itself for long-term shared success.

Additionally, nine foundations made a long-term commitment to not only working together to create and make recommendations, but to then take the lead to implement and invest their own resources in these recommendations with the overarching goal of creating transformative change.

To learn more about AGree and Working Landscapes, visit their website.

Job opportunities at Prairie Rivers of Iowa, Center for Rural Affairs & WFAN

Are you passionate about protecting Iowa’s natural environment? Several of our member organizations are currently hiring. Don’t miss this opportunity to work for these incredible organizations alongside some truly amazing, smart and talented individuals.

Questions? Please connect with the individual listed as the contact for the position you are applying for. The Council cannot answer questions about individual positions.

Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Coordinator – Prairie Rivers of Iowa
The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Coordinator will develop and lead our Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Program. We are looking for the right person who wishes to develop this dynamic program along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway over the next several years. The Lincoln Highway is Iowa’s longest designated roadway, its only historic byway and the state’s portion of the original Lincoln Highway, the first coast-to-coast improved highway in the United States. This Coordinator must be enthusiastic about history, preservation, heritage tourism and community development in relationship to the Lincoln Highway. This unique position will assist in the development and implementation of fundraising strategies for the road’s intrinsic qualities, meet and develop stakeholder groups and conduct project activities along the Byway. This position also offers the opportunity to interact with a wide range of stakeholders in locations across the state, and to make an impact in many byway communities.

Read the full job description

Application
To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to Executive Director Penny Brown Huber, pbrownhuber@prrcd.org, by Monday, November 10, 2014.


Rural Caucus Coordinator / Climate and Energy Organizer – Center for Rural Affairs
REAMP is a network of 160 nonprofits and foundations working across eight Midwestern states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% economy wide by 2050. The REAMP Rural Caucus is created to deepen climate engagement with rural constituents and position the Network to advance policy priorities at the state, regional and federal level. The successful candidate will spend approximately one-half of his or her time coordinating this Caucus and engaging network members around the Caucus’ workplan and goals.

The Center for Rural Affairs is a leading nonprofit organization with a national reputation for progressive rural advocacy and policy work. Approximately one-half of this position will be devoted to working alongside the Center to further energy and climate advocacy efforts throughout Northeast Iowa and Southwest Wisconsin. This work plan focuses on engaging important stakeholders and local communities to advance renewable energy systems, including clean energy transmission. The Center is an active member of the RE-AMP Network and a leader in the Rural Caucus.

Read the full job description

Application:
Send a cover letter, resume, three professional references, and one short writing sample (1-3 pages), to trishd@cfra.org. Apply by November 1, 2014 for full consideration.


Women, Land and Legacy Coordinator – Women, Food and Agriculture Network
The WLL Coordinator will be responsible for the daily operations of the WLL project, promote growth of WLL throughout Iowa, and provide outreach to the local teams to help them be more sustainable. The coordinator will support local teams so that they better meet the needs of agricultural and rural women in Iowa and ensure that they have a safe place to learn and ask questions. The coordinator will serve as the key contact with local teams as well as the WLL State Team and partner groups to better coordinate the services provided through WLL.

The WLL Coordinator will report to the WFAN Executive Director, and will be advised by the WLL State Team. The WLL State Team will provide the coordinator training and direction, assistance with the quarterly newsletter and social media, assistance with communication with key state-level agency leadership, and support in conducting evaluations.

Read the full job description

Application:
Please submit a cover letter addressing how you meet the above qualifications, resume, and two professional references to wfanjobs@wfan.org no later than 5pm central time on December 1, 2014. Questions regarding the position announcement can be directed to Bridget Holcomb: 515.460.2477 or bridget@wfan.org.

Council seeking Office Manager/Bookkeeper

Position Description — Office Manager/Bookkeeper
Reports to: Executive Director
Salary Range: $14-$18/hour
Status: Permanent part-time position, 20+ hours/week (flexible hours)

Application Process: Email resume and cover letter to: rosenberg@iaenvironment.org. No phone calls.

Immediate availability strongly preferred.

Qualifications Required:
• 3 years’ experience with QuickBooks
• 3 years’ experience with data bases
• 3 years’ experience in Office Administration with budget and finance
• 3 years’ experience with Microsoft Excel
• Strong analytical, verbal and written communications
• Associate or Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Business Administration
Position Responsibilities:
• Financial accounting: accounts payable, accounts receivable, journal entries, monthly financial reports; payroll with benefits administration, quarterly and annual payroll filing; process deposits
• Manage office responsibilities: vendor relationships, scheduling with Microsoft Outlook, postal mail, telephone, track and order supplies
• Develop and maintain positive relations with individual member on behalf of the Council in verbal, written and electronic communications.
• Manage the office technology: telephone, fax, copier and computer systems
• Assist in event and meeting planning
• Other duties as assigned
Compensation and Benefits:
• $14-$17/hour, 20 hours/week (somewhat flexible hours)
• Vacation, holidays and sick leave
• Flex Savings Plan
• Retirement Plan

5 Reasons to Attend Our Annual Conference

Our annual conference, Engage in Your Future: Creating a healthier, sustainable tomorrow, is just two weeks away.

We can think of endless reasons for you to join us on October 9 at Drake University, but we’ve narrowed it down to five.

PrintFive reasons to attend our 2014 annual conference:

1. Hear from local, regional and national industry exerts
From local leaders in Iowa, to talented allies in surrounding states and individuals on the national stage, this year’s conference features an exciting slate of speakers you won’t want to miss. View the full conference agenda here.

2. Network
Our conference is known for bringing together a unique cross section of Iowa’s environmental community. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet and connect with new and old friends, and identify opportunities to work together.

3. Learn
This year’s conference will delve into the latest developments to Invest in clean water, Expand clean energy and Confront climate change. Learn from your colleagues’ successes and challenges, embrace new ideas, tools and techniques, and apply that shared knowledge and experience to your work.

4. Recharge
Whether you work for a small non-profit staff or a large state agency, we’re all busy, and it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind. Our conference will surround you with smart, creative and thought-provoking people that will leave you feeling re-energized, refocused and inspired.

5. Socialize
We work hard to plan a conference that is not only engaging and informative, but also fun. This year, conference attendees will have the opportunity to connect the night prior to the conference at our inaugural community awareness event, Pro H2O, at the Science Center of Iowa.

For more information about the conference, including the full agenda, visit our website. We look forward to seeing you on October 9.

Have questions or prefer to register via phone? Contact Communications & Outreach Director Katy Heggen at 515-244-1194 x 210 or email Heggen@iaenvironment.org