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The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the Editor: Protect streams with buffer strips

Multiple rows of trees and shrubs, as well as a native grass strip, combine with terraces and other upland conservation treatments to protect Bear Creek in Story County, Iowa. The riparian buffer along the stream is part of a nationally designated demonstration area for riparian buffers. Photo: National Agroforestry Center

By John Clayton
Poweshiek County Soil & Water Commissioner

This is in response to Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig remarks in the Des Moines Register article titled:  “Some Iowa farmers back crop buffer law to protect streams.”

The Ag Sec opposes a regulation to protect streams with buffers.  [Secretary] Naig said, “It’s counter to our philosophy.” … “He also questioned whether the conservation districts reflects the views of most Iowa farmers.”

The Conservation Districts of Iowa’s 500 publicly elected officials at ballot boxes across the state do represent Iowans.  A vast majority of those officials are farmers.  Plus, the Soil and Water Commissioners have the duty to represent all Iowans in conservation work in Iowa. 

It appears that when the Ag. Sec. said, “It’s counter to our philosophy,” his ‘our’ represents big corporate agriculture, not the ordinary everyday people of Iowa.

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