The head of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation says legislators didn’t know what they were doing when they cut state spending on conservation programs by more than a third. Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation president Mark Ackelson says when cornered, legislators admit they didn’t know the extent of the cuts they voted to make in late May. He says the 5,000 members of his group are starting to pidgeon-hole lawmakers on the issue. Ackelson says rather than a little “belt-tightening” — lawmakers put a noose around crucial state environmental programs. Ackelson says water clean-up programs took the biggest hit, losing more than 40-MILLION dollars in the budget cutting. He says Iowa’s environmental and economic health can’t be separated, and clean water and soil aren’t luxuries that can be abandoned in hard times.
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