Clipped From Iowa City Press-Citizen

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Clipped by jmay372

 - As the namesake and grandson of the late...
As the namesake and grandson of the late conservationist Sylvan T . Runkel, a man who invested his life promoting, implementing and educating others in taking care of our natural resources, I feel a special obligation to the future of Iowa’s lands and waters. Since starting my own family, this sense h as been heightened, but never so much as during a 2014 vacation. A ccustomed to traveling out of s tate for summer vacations, my w ife and I made a conscious choice t o stay in Iowa for a weekend and s pend our dollars locally. We reserved a lakeside cabin, spending m ore than $400 just for the reservation. Just two days before the start of our reservation, the top s tory on the local news highlighted h ow uninhabitable the lake was a nd recreational use was not adv ised. With more than 50 percent o f Iowa’s waterways impaired, I g uess it shouldn’t have been a surprise that our family vacation was r uined by water-quality issues. I nstead of swimming with our k ids, we spent our entire weekend trying to keep them out of the wa- t er. Instead of canoeing, we pre- t ended to canoe in the grass. Ins tead of providing a memorable f amily vacation for our kids, we s pent our time trying to divert their attention from the water, the w ater that ironically attracted us to choose this location. Surrounding states such as M innesota and Missouri have imp lemented trust funds for conser- v ation, and it shows. My family d oesn’t have to check water-qual- i ty indexes before we travel there, a nd that affects our choice of where to go. Iowa is not only losing t ourism dollars, but also falling further behind as we fail to provide consistent reliable funding f or conservation. Aruined family vacation is not what compels me to write today; it’s the Iowa we are leaving for future generations. As Moss Cass said: “We have not inherited this Earth from our parents to do with i t what we will. We have borrowed it from our children, and we must b e careful to use it in their inter- e sts as well as our own.” F ortunately, there is an oppor- t unity before us to make the c hange we desperately need and provide our children and grand- c hildren with a legacy we can be proud of. Just like my Grandpa Sy did for all of us. This is the year to f und the Iowa Outdoor and Recre- a tional Trust Fund. Sylan T. “Ted” Runkel III of Ankeny is a volunteer with The Nature Conservancy in Iowa, w hich is an executive member of the Iowa Land and Water Legacy Coalition. Contact: w ww.nature.org Sylvan T. “Ted” Runkel III Guest opinion

Clipped from
  1. Iowa City Press-Citizen,
  2. 02 Apr 2015, Thu,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page A7

jmay372 Member Photo
  • Clipped by jmay372 – 11 Jul 2018

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