Umbrella effect

Engrained interest groups influence in our legislative process is what inspired fellow Storm Laker Jim Eliason, and I, to try our hand at it. Over the past several months we collaborated and created a proposal for transitioning, peer selected, Iowa land. We’ve been disseminating it from the Governor on down. After attending the Changing Iowa event in Spencer, our well intended efforts were obviously short sighted. Panelist Ellen Walsh-Rosmann pointed out the importance in how the 2018 farm bill gets shaped. We share a desire to incentivize the continued growth of organic food production.

In addition to that goal, our proposal addresses water and environmental quality improvement. Let me speak personally on the latter, as recreation of habitat for Trumpeter Swans is the impetus for my foray into the lobbying business. Nest feathering, just not the money kind.

I view the Trumpeter Swan as the flagship species for wetland restoration. Iowans efforts towards their reintroduction have helped increase their numbers significantly since their near extinction. Also, while protecting them, other species benefit. This is referred to as the umbrella species effect, which I would argue includes Homo Sapiens.

Just as Iowa cities prudently are addressing flooding issues, our proposal targets the rural areas, again peer selected, for maximum public benefits. With continued public advocacy, coupled with financial and legacy incentives, we project a small fraction of voluntary land owner agreement to begin the transitioning process to crucial wetlands, with a slice of food production plots and small homestead. Perhaps, even a modernized version family home. I’ll bet King Construction would better serve Iowans recreating wetlands and value added agricultural land, than having to heavily rely on the use of eminent domain for that Texas project they’re yearning to do.

As a believer in miracles, I’m hopeful our input, as well as all the other earth friendly programs, get the state and national funding they deserve. Together we can become the main ingredients of the 2018 farm bill sausage – not just bittersweet salt thrown in at the end as an added preservative.

TIM HUMES

Storm Lake