The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission is recommending that the general operating budget for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for next year be the same as this year’s budget. That recommendation now goes to Governor Reynolds and she’ll submit her proposed budget to legislators in January.
DNR director Chuck Gipp expects the hiring freeze in his agency will stay in place. He’s been shifting staff around to deal with vacancies and retirements in the state park system.
“A perfect example was a park in southwest Iowa,” Gipp told Radio Iowa. “It was a two-person park. One of those people transferred up to Prairie Rose State Park, where there was a vacancy. That person left at Waubonsie said: “I don’t want to be a one person park,’ so he retired — so we are currently operating that park with a temporary transfer.”
Waubonsie State Park is near Hamburg in the southwest corner of Iowa. It has seven miles of hiking trails and eight miles of trails for horseback riders, plus a small, seven-acre lake.
The Environmental Protection Commission is recommending a $1 million increase in state spending on state park infrastructure. However, that money would come from the separate “Environment First” fund where state gambling taxes are deposited.