The major party candidates for western Iowa’s Congressional district oppose the idea of having the federal government seize property in the Loess Hills along the Missouri River to make a national park. Democrat Paul Shomshor of Council Bluffs grew up in the Loess Hills, in Crescent.Shomshor says when he was a member of the Council Bluffs City Council, they raised money from the state, the feds and from the private sector to buy highly-errodible land and prairie areas in the Hills.Shomshor says there’s a place for parks in the Loess Hills, but it should be done by government and private sector groups buying ground.Shomshor’s opponent, Republican Steve King of Kiron, sponsored a bill in the state legislature which created the “Loess Hills Alliance.”King says the people who live in the area should have a say in how it’s developed, and that’s why the Alliance is important.King says the Loess Hills is a “string of pearls” with choice pieces of real estate that have beautiful scenery and are valuable ecologically. But he says the people who live there have property rights, and are part of the scenery as well. The men made their comments on Iowa Public Television. The new Fifth Congressional district covers 32 western Iowa counties and stretches from Minnesota to Missouri.
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