Keeping Iowa rivers clean important

March 28, 2014 | 11:28 am

It has been very sad for me to learn that Gov. Terry Branstad wants to drastically cut funding for natural resources by reducing the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ upcoming budget. I especially lament the loss of funding for river improvements.

I have kayaked many of Iowa’s rivers and have found them to be a great recreational and inspirational experience. Access to these “gems of the prairie” should be vigorously protected.

Our state has more than an $800 million budget surplus. Yet Branstad has suggested cutting the entire budget for river improvements. This would seem contrary to the needs of the state for clean water and for attracting as well as keeping Iowans in the state with improved recreational attractions.

As proof, look at the cover of the new state tourism brochure, approved by Branstad. It features a kayaker approaching Motor Mill on the Turkey River in northeast Iowa — beautiful.

Bill Desmarais

Cedar Rapids

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