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Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund Amendment, Measure 1 (2010)

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The Iowa Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund Amendment, also known as Measure 1, was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of Iowa as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.Approveda According to the proposal the next time the Iowa Legislature approved a sales tax increase, the measure would allow 3/8ths of one cent to be used in support of the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. This would establish permanent revenue for natural resources and outdoor recreational programs in the state. It was reported that this would generate about $150 million a year. The measure was introduced by Representative Paul Bell.[1][2][3]

About $150 million of the estimated tax pot would be spent on outdoor recreation and natural resources, which included:[4]

  • Natural resources: 23 percent would be allocated to state parks, state forests, state preserves, wildlife areas and other.
  • Soil conservation and water protection: 20 percent would be used for soil conservation and watershed protection
  • Watershed protection: 14 percent would be used to help preserve watersheds
  • Resource Enhancement and Protection Program: 13 percent of the revenue would be used for natural, cultural, and recreational resources parks, trails, museums, and roadside beautification.
  • Local conservation partnership: 13 percent would be handed out to local communities for areas pertaining to outdoor and recreation
  • Trails: 10 percent would go to outdoor trails for recreational use.
  • Lake restoration: 7 percent would go to public lake restoration around the state.

More details on the proposal, click here

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results

Official results of the measure follow:

Measure 1 (Natural Resources Trust Fund)
Approveda Yes 629,235 62.57%

Results via the Iowa Secretary of State

Text of measure


The summary of the amendment read as follows:[5]

Adopts Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy Amendment which creates a dedicated trust fund for the purposes of protecting and enhancing water quality and natural areas in the State including parks, trails, and fish and wildlife habitat, and conserving agricultural soils in this State.

Constitutional changes

Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund Amendment, constitutional text changes

The measure was proposed to amend Article VII of the Iowa Constitution by adding Section 10 entitled Natural Resources.[1]



  • The measure's main supporter was Iowa's Water and Land Legacy, which had many members under its coalition. Those members can be found here. The campaign's website was Iowa Conservation (timed out), provided by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
  • According to the measure's campaign manager, Mark Langgin, "We really need to demonstrate to the legislature on November 2 that this is a priority of Iowans and I think that would demonstrate some momentum for funding the trust fund."[6]
  • Shana Udvardy, director of Flood Management Policy, commented about the measure in an editorial published by American Rivers, stating, "Citizens involved in Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy are leading the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund 2010 ballot initiative that will give Iowans a chance to vote for permanent and dedicated funding to protect natural areas. This is a model ballot initiative that will help to protect natural areas that are so critical to reducing the risk of flooding, protecting water quality, providing recreation and fish and wildlife habitat."[7]
  • Matt O'Connor, director of Iowa Pheasants Forever State Conservation and co-chair of Iowa's Water and Land Legacy, "This November Iowans have chance to clean up our water, protect our soil, enhance our natural resources by voting yes. This is an initiative we can all get behind."[8]
  • Shanen Ebersole, a cattle rancher from Ringold County, stated that outside funds would help her make improvements to her land. Ebersole dug up a pond on her property, claiming that it would prevent small streams from taking away top soil. The Nature Conservancy estimated that five tons of soil is lost from each acre of farm land in the state annually. Ebersole said, "All of the (water) that's flooding the city is (coming from) our land upstream. We can't feed you, if you're not taken care of in the city. Our new pond (cost) about $28,000 to build. That would not have been possible without outside funding for us."[9]


  • Ducks Unlimited, a non-profit group that helps with the conservation of North America's waterfowl habitats, stated about the measure:
"This will help accelerate the conservation of wetlands, shallow lakes, wildlife management areas and other important waterfowl habitats in Iowa,” said Steve Adair DU director of the Great Plains Regional Office. DU has worked closely with many other organizations and supporters to build strong bipartisan support for this legislation. We’re grateful for the overwhelming support it received in both chambers and realize it’s now up to Iowa voters to make this vision a reality on November second.”[10]
  • Scott Moats of Westfield, who was a member of the coalition in support of the measure stated that the amendment was necessary in order to improve Iowa's water quality. According to Moats, data from the Department of Natural Resources stated that 53% of Iowa's water rates as "poor."[11]

Campaigning, rallies and events

  • The Water and Land Legacy Coalition planned to visit Davenport, Iowa on October 4, 2010 to speak about the measure. The group had planned to speak at 10 am at the Scott County Family Y. According to reports, speakers were to include Sean McMahon of The Nature Conservancy; Matt O’Connor of Pheasants Forever; Anita O’Gara of Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation; Zach Klipsch of YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln; and Kathy Wine of River Action Inc.[12]



  • Delegates of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation passed a resolution opposing the measure. According to reports, the reason for the resolution was because delegates aregue that there was no guarantee that state legislators would later use the money for other things.[13]
  • According to reports, there was little other opposition to the measure.[13]


  • Farm Bureau President Craig Lang argued, "In the future that might not be the priority of Iowans. Public education, safety are top priorities. How about balancing the budget, those things."[14]
  • Opponents also argued that the measure would result in higher taxes that people couldn't afford.[15]

Campaign contributions


The following contributors were listed as donors to the campaign for the measure. The contributions were received by the main organization for the measure, Iowa's Water and Land Legacy.[16]

Date Contributor Amount
March 20 Wildlife Society, Iowa Chapter $2,000
March 23 Iowa Bowhunters Association $2,000
March 29 Muskies, Inc., Upper Great Plains $1,000
March 31 National Wild Turkey Federation, Iowa Chapter $5,000
April 19 Iowa Orinthologist Union $5,000
June 25 YMCA of Greater Des Moines $20,000
June 30 HNI Corporation $2,500
July 14 Iowa Parks Foundation $1,750
October 5 Clear Lake Telephone Company $1,000
October 14 Great Outdoors Fund $1,000


According to the Iowa Ethics Commission Database, there were no filed reports of campaign contributions or expenditures to or by a campaign against the measure.[17]

Path to the ballot

The measure was first introduced to the Iowa House of Representatives on January 12, 2009, and was approved by the chamber on February 17, 2009 with a vote of 82-14. The measure was then sent to the Iowa State Senate on the same day it was approved by the House. The Senate then approved of the proposed measure with a vote of 49-1 on February 18, 2009, therefore placing the measure on the ballot. The measure was sent to the Iowa Secretary of State on April 26, 2009. A majority vote is required (in two successive sessions of) the Iowa General Assembly to place a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the ballot. Iowa is one of 11 states that requires this process.[18]

See also

External links

Suggest a link

Additional reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 House Joint Resolution 1 (dead link)
  2. Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, "Fact Sheet," January 28, 2009 (dead link)
  3. Muscatine Journal, "Ask not what your park can do for you...," March 1, 2010
  4. Des Moines Register, "How would Iowa spend $150 million for outdoor projects? Bill spells it out," March 23, 2010
  5. Iowa Secretary of State, "November 2, 2010 Iowa Statewide Ballot Questions"
  6., "November ballot to ask about amendment for water quality," September 22, 2010
  7. American Rivers, "Iowa’s “Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund” is a Model Initiative," September 16, 2010 (dead link)
  8. Messenger News, "Water quality funds on Nov. ballot," September 24, 2010
  9., "Amendment: Supporters Say it Would Save Iowa's Soil, Prevent Future Flood Threats," October 3, 2010 (dead link)
  10., "Ducks Unlimited Applauds Legislature For Passing Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Act," March 24, 2010
  11. Cherokee Chronicle Times, "Iowa Water and Land Legacy Amendment proposed," September 27, 2010
  12. Quad-City Times, "Coalition to speak about environmental ballot issue," October 1, 2010
  13. 13.0 13.1 Des Moines Register, "Conservation trust fund amendment to go before Iowa voters," October 14, 2010
  14., "Did You Know This Was On Ballot?," October 26, 2010 (dead link)
  15., "Groups split on conservation ballot measure," October 28, 2010
  16. Iowa Ethics Commission Database, "IECDB State/Local Campaign Disclosure Reports," accessed September 2, 2010
  17. Iowa Ethics Commission, "Database," accessed October 26, 2010
  18. Iowa Legislature, "Bill History for HJR1