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Senator Ragan: Preserving resources is an investment in our future

This news story was published on March 31, 2016.
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From Senator Amanda Ragan –

State Senator Amanda Ragan

State Senator Amanda Ragan

We’re always looking for ways to make Iowa a better place to live, work and raise a family. Our natural and cultural resources are an important part of that effort. The foundation of Iowa’s economy and way of life is rooted in our rich soils, plentiful water and natural areas, which have given us a strong agriculture or manufacturing economy, and spur recreation and tourism.

To ensure wise use of these resources, the Legislature created the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program in 1989 to improve land and wildlife habitat, maintain parks, enhance soil and water quality, and preserve Iowa’s history and culture for future generations. Since its inception, REAP has supported thousands of projects in Iowa’s 99 counties. The state has invested more than $300 million, which has leveraged two to three times as much in private, local and federal money to improve our state.

REAP funding goes toward projects in these seven categories: State Open Spaces, City Parks & Opens Spaces, Soil & Water Conservation, County Conservation, Land Management, Historic Resources and Roadside Vegetation. REAP money is divvied up according to a formula that has the approval of a wide range of interest groups.

For more than 25 years, REAP has been a successful, nationally recognized program. As we finalize the state budget, funding for REAP and similar efforts will continue doing good things for Iowa’s economy and quality of life.

April 2, 2016 @ 10:00 am at Mason City Public Library, 225 2nd St SE, Mason City. More information

Carrie Dunnwald of Hampton was at the Statehouse with the Iowa Council on Homelessness, which believes every Iowan should have safe, decent and affordable housing. Between 2007 and 2013, veteran homelessness in Iowa increased while child and chronic homelessness decreased, according to a study by the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness.

Mason City resident Steve Faulkner was at the Statehouse with Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services. The organization helps Iowans living with disabilities achieve their goals for work and independent living.

I visited with Rachel Olson, Housing & Economic Justice Coordinator for Mason City, about homelessness in our area and what can be done to ensure every Iowan has safe, decent and affordable housing.

Lyndon Sutcliffe of Mason City is a member of the Iowa Trappers Association, a statewide organization that protects and promotes the rights of fur trappers.

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