WASHINGTON, December 7, 2021 ---- A bipartisan group in Congress introduced the Driftless Area Landscape Conservation Initiative Act to preserve this unique region of about 24,000 square miles located in the area where Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin meet. The bill was introduced in the House by Representatives by Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Ron Kind (D-Wisc.).
The legislation would re-establish efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve management of working lands, woodlands, prairies and cold water streams in the Driftless Area.
The Act would re-establish the Driftless Area Landscape Conservation Initiative with the following objectives:
- Manage working lands for year-round ground cover to rebuild soil, sequester carbon, improve water quality, increase water-holding capacity of soil, reduce soil erosion and mitigate flooding and other climate impacts.
- Manage woodlands for increased biodiversity to improve the health of woods to provide habitat and sequester carbon.
- Restore prairies and manage grasslands, oak savannas and barrens to expand habitat and sequester carbon.
- Restore cold water streams by reducing stream bank erosion and threats of flooding while improving trout habitat.
“For nearly a century, the League has been fighting for conservation in the Upper Mississippi, including in the Driftless Area. By promoting the transition to regenerative agriculture and reducing nutrient runoff, the Driftless Area Landscape Conservation Initiative will strengthen water quality throughout this unique landscape. Improvements to wildlife habitat, greater resiliency to climate change, and expanded opportunities for outdoor recreation are also critical components of this important legislation," said Jared Mott, Conservation Director at the Izaak Walton League of America.
"The League is proud to support this bill and thankful for the leadership of Representatives Bustos, Hinson, and all of the sponsors in introducing this bill and elevating these vital conservation issues.”
“Passage of this legislation will allow continued collaborations at the local level essential to restorations," said Dave Zentner, Izaak Walton League Upper Mississippi River Project Director and Past National President of the League. "The Driftless area is one of the most unique natural communities in North America. Working with property owners and local communities will allow new levels of cooperation and progress with the re-emergence of this critical funding.”
For more details, see the statement from Rep. Bustos' office.
For nearly 100
years, the Izaak Walton League of America has fought for clean air and water, healthy fish
and wildlife habitat and conserving natural resources for future generations.
Today, the League plays a unique role in supporting local community-based
conservation and shaping national policy. Visit www.iwla.org
Michael Reinemer, Communications Director
301-548-0150 ext 220