All Iowans owe the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) a hearty round of applause for the wonderful job they “try” to do in the day-to-day management and protection of the state’s natural resources.
I say “try” to do in that the DNR continues to be hamstrung and frustrated by the political and personal self-interests of both the governor and a few members of the Iowa Legislature who have a stranglehold on the Legislature’s DNR committee. Just a few ongoing and recent cases in point include political opposition to DNR recommendations to eliminate the outrageous summertime 10-horsepower boating restriction on Lake Macbride (in favor of “no wake” all year long), opposition to recommendations to restrict the use of lead shot for hunting doves and to reduce the number of deer tags issued for hunting does.
Why do we continue to allow this to happen? What makes the governor and a handful of legislators think they know more about managing the state’s natural resources than the DNR professionals hired to do the job? The DNR appears powerless to take a stance and publicly complain for fear of political and/or career reprisal. Such a shame.