DNR map showing Bloody Run Creek.

The Iowa Natural Resource Commission voted to add protections to a northeast Iowa trout stream Wednesday, but environmentalists say they are concerned about plans approved for a nearby cattle operation.

A DNR memo says the five-acre easement along Bloody Run Creek in northeast Iowa’s of Clayton County will expand public access for anglers, and is meant to keep the area substantially undisturbed forever.

The Iowa Environmental Council’s Ingrid Gronstal says the protections will be undermined by Supreme Beef’s plan to open an 1,100 head cattle feedlot upstream. “We see that as giving with one hand while taking with the other. So state leadership needs to do more to protect the creek from agricultural pollution if it wants to maintain or increase public enjoyment of Bloody Run,” Gronstal says.

Wally Taylor of the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club spoke to the commission. “Let’s see if there’s some way to resolve this and to make sure Bloody Run Creek is not impacted and that these large animal confinements and facilities be sighted in locations where it doesn’t counteract what you folks are trying to do,” Taylor says.

The creek about eight miles west of Marquette and McGregor has a natural population of brown trout and is stocked by the DNR with rainbow trout. Iowa DNR director, Kayla Lyon says she doesn’t have the authority to review the agency’s approval of the plan for the cattle feedlot. Advocates disagree and say they are considering legal action to stop the feedlot.

(By Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)