Important public participation opportunities approaching for key Iowa conservation program

The REAP logo with the text "It's time: Fully Fund REAP!"

The Iowa Environmental Council strongly supports providing full funding to the REAP program.

The Iowa Environmental Council is a strong supporter of REAP and is a member of the Iowa REAP Alliance, a coalition of organizations who support the program.  The following is from a press release by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The public will have a chance to shape the future of Iowa’s conservation and outdoor recreation at any of the 18 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) assemblies this fall.

REAP is a program that provides grants for and encourages enhancing and protecting Iowa’s natural and cultural resources. The assemblies will show local impacts of REAP.

“We get the opportunity to go out to the public to talk about REAP’s local impact,” said Tammie Krausman, REAP coordinator.

The assemblies will also allow attendees to voice ideas for changes and modifications to REAP and its programs.

“People who are passionate about conservation and outdoor recreation should get involved to make decisions on what’s happening locally,” said Krausman.

The assemblies will also allow participants to elect five members for REAP Congress. REAP Congress will meet Jan. 4 at the state capitol to talk about a variety of conservation topics such as soil conservation, water quality and outdoor recreation.

Next year is the 25th anniversary of REAP, so the meetings will reflect on REAP’s accomplishments. They will also look to the future.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has prepared a new series of fact sheets highlighting the impact of Iowa’s most important conservation programs, REAP, or the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program.

The fact sheets show how nearly all of REAP’s funding, which comes from Iowa’s Environment First Fund (Iowa gaming receipts) and from natural resource license plate sales, is distributed among eight different programs in the form of grants.  They are now available for download as .pdf files.

“REAP is as relevant today as it was 24 years ago, and the needs are still as great,” said Krausman.

All 18 assemblies are open to the public and will have open houses from 6 to 6:30 p.m. The assembly will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

REAP received $16 million for fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 to June 2014). In addition to projects that enhance and protect resources, funding also goes to enhance soil and water quality, historic preservation, roadside vegetation and several other programs that are beneficial to Iowa. REAP has funded projects in every county in Iowa.

People can get involved in REAP outside the assemblies as well. “Most counties have a REAP committee where, if they want to talk more about these things, they can,” Krausman said.

County REAP committee chair person contacts can be found on the DNR’s website at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/REAP/2012%20REAP%20County%20Chairs.pdf

Meeting locations and dates are listed below alphabetically by city. Additional meeting details can be found at: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/REAP/REAPPublicParticipation.aspx.

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