# Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Some bad laws for Iowa's environment take effect today

Continuing Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of the Iowa legislature’s work during the 2019 session.

Iowa’s environmental community had something to celebrate when state lawmakers adjourned for the year without passing legislation that would crush small-scale solar development. An unusual coalition including solar installers, environmental groups, and livestock farmers helped keep the bill bottled up in the Iowa House despite intense lobbying by MidAmerican Energy and its allies, along with massive spending by undisclosed donors.

Unfortunately, lawmakers approved and Governor Kim Reynolds signed several other measures that will be detrimental for Iowa’s natural resources and take our state’s energy policy in the wrong direction. The new laws take effect today, as the 2020 fiscal year begins.

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Events coming up during the next two weeks

Governor Chet Culver kicks off his re-election campaign on Monday, May 17. The governor, First Lady Mari Culver, and Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge will hold events in 41 counties over five days. Members of the public can RSVP to attend the Culver campaign events here.

Details on those and many other events can be found after the jump.

Bike to Work week also begins next Monday and runs through May 21. According to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition,

In 2009, 716 employers, 114 cities, and 2,395 commuters (22% first-timers) participated. Approximately 63,188 commuting miles were pledged, 3,510 gallons of gas saved, and $7,336.83 saved in fuel costs. Contact Mark Wyatt at (515) 309-2867 or mark@iowabicyclecoalition.org.

Here’s hoping the bicycle commuters will get warm, dry weather next week.

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Events coming up this week, with a few job openings

I haven’t posted any job listings here in a while, but I recently learned of a few opportunities in the environmental area. Those are posted below. If you know of political or progressive advocacy jobs available, feel free to send details to me (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com), and I will try to spread the word.

The big political event this week is the March 19 deadline for Iowa candidates to file nominating papers for statewide and federal offices. John Deeth has been covering the filings so far at his blog. Follow me after the jump for details on other things going on around the state, and post a comment or send me an e-mail if you know of something I’ve left out.

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For Blog Action Day: Iowa non-profits against global warming

More than 10,000 blogs around the world are writing something about climate change on October 15 to mark “Blog Action Day.”

If you’re concerned about global warming, you may already have made small changes to reduce your own “carbon footprint.” You can significantly lower your energy consumption (and save money) with simple steps like hanging your laundry to dry and turning the thermostat down a few degrees in cold weather.

I also encourage you to get involved with at least one non-profit organization that works to reduce global warming. Whether you become an active volunteer or send a small donation once a year, your support will make a difference.

Here are 15 Iowa non-profits that deserve broad-based support. Although not all of them mention climate change in their mission statements, they all promote activities, land uses and public policies that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

1000 Friends of Iowa

Center on Sustainable Communities

Environment Iowa

Iowa Bicycle Coalition

Iowa Environmental Council

Iowa Global Warming Campaign

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Iowa Interfaith Power and Light

Iowa Network for Community Agriculture

Iowa Renewable Energy Association

Plains Justice

Practical Farmers of Iowa

Repower Iowa

Sierra Club, Iowa Chapter

Trees Forever

In this comment thread, please recommend other non-profit groups working to reduce climate change.

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Events coming up during the rest of July (updated)

The RAGBRAI riders are enjoying some relatively cool weather this week, although last night’s rain may have been unpleasant for campers. If you’re riding and have any anecdotes to share, post them here.

Details on other events going on around the state are after the jump. As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of something I’ve left out.

Occasionally I put a river clean-up on these event calendars, so I wanted to let the Bleeding Heartland community know about this opportunity:

The Iowa Whitewater Coalition today announced the Clean Rivers Team Stewardship Program (CRTSP) — a mini-grant program to help fund local river clean-up activities across Iowa.

Any community group or organization in Iowa is welcome to apply for a grant from the CRTSP for the purpose of paying expenses related to river clean-up activities. Grants are limited to a maximum of $500.

Details are available at www.iowawhitewater.org and a Letter of Application may be submitted at any time to Iowa Whitewater Coalition, PO Box 65453, West Des Moines, IA 50265. Questions can be addressed by Peter Komendowski at 319-269-8493.

UPDATE: Added details on the Iowa Politics forum for Republican gubernatorial candidates (July 22) after the jump.

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Events coming up this weekend and next week

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is holding its annual convention this Saturday, July 18, at the Hotel Fort Des Moines:

Iowa CCI’s statewide annual convention will feature workshops and plenary sessions on factory farming, campaign finance reform, immigration reform, and predatory lending. The convention will conclude with an exciting direct action targeting an undisclosed payday lender in a low-income community in  Des Moines.

More details on that and other events coming up soon are after the jump.

As always, please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of another event I’ve left out.

To Bleeding Heartland readers who plan to do RAGBRAI next week: consider posting a diary about your experience or any candidates you encounter during the ride. I saw this at Bob Krause’s campaign site:

Eric Rysdam of  Fairfield, Iowa has agreed to ride across the state in  RAGBRAI, The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa with a big Krause banner and shirt. Eric will be the core of an amorphous group participating and getting the word out about for us! Please wish Eric well with his training in anticipation of the July 19-25 event! Eric’s number is 319-293-6306 if you want to wish him well, or if you want to be on the ride with him.

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Events coming up during the next two weeks

Political activity slows down a bit during the summer, but there are still plenty of things to do if you’re not spending hours a day training for RAGBRAI. Read all about it after the jump. As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of something I’ve left out.

If you live in the first Congressional district, consider attending one of Bruce Braley’s town-hall meetings on health care reform in Dubuque,  Oelwein, Davenport and Waterloo (click “there’s more” for details). According to a statement from his office,

Braley will discuss the draft House health care reform bill, listen to constituents’ concerns, and take questions.  Braley is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the committee in charge of authoring healthcare reform legislation.

Braley’s town hall meetings on healthcare reform are free and open to the public.

Attendees are strongly encouraged to RSVP at: http://braley.house.gov/townhall.

Speaking of health care reform, Moveon.org is looking for people to help deliver petitions this Thursday, July 9, to the Iowa offices of Senators Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley. Click here to sign up.

UPDATE: I added information about Governor Chet Culver’s upcoming appearances in eastern Iowa to highlight I-JOBS and Rebuild Iowa projects.

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Events coming up during the next two weeks

I still don’t have many details about President Barack Obama’s upcoming appearance in Newton on Earth Day (April 22). He plans to speak about energy, and presumably his focus will be on renewable energy and the potential for “green jobs” to boost the economy. Two manufacturers in the wind energy industry have located in Newton since the former Maytag plant shut down.

I will post more details about the president’s visit when they become available. Meanwhile, click “there’s more” to read what else is going on around the state for the next couple of weeks.

As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of something important I’ve left out.

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Obama returning to Iowa and other events coming up during the next two weeks

President Barack Obama will speak about energy in Newton on Earth Day (April 22), a White House official told the Des Moines Register today. Two manufacturers in the wind energy industry have located in Newton since the former Maytag plant shut down.

Click “there’s more” for information about other events during the second half of April.

As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of something important I’ve left out.

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Events coming up this week

The state capitol will be crowded on Tuesday, as the Iowa Environmental Council and many of its member organizations hold a “lobby day” in the rotunda and One Iowa has scheduled several events for supporters at the capitol.

By the way, One Iowa is encouraging people to write letters to the editor this week supporting marriage equality. Click here to view some sample letters, but remember that it’s always better to put letters to the editor in your own words. Your letter has a better chance of being published if you keep it under 100 or at most 150 words.

Please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of another event I should post on this event calendar.

Monday, February 9:

One Iowa has organized a Marriage Equality Forum at 7 pm in the First Presbyterian Church, 100 S. Pierce Avenue in Mason City. The group is also encouraging Iowans to change their Facebook status to “I’m One MORE Iowan who supports marriage equality.”

Tuesday, February 10:

From the Iowa Environmental Council:

Join us for Lobby Day

February 10, State Capitol Building

All members of the Iowa Environmental Council are invited to participate in our Environmental Lobby Day, at the state Capitol Building, first floor rotunda, on February 10. Come over your lunch hour or any time between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Visit our member organization booths to learn about Iowa environmental issues, meet others who care about your environmental concerns and learn how easy and important it is to lobby your state legislators about environmental issues that matter to you. If you are a parent, grandparent, student leader or teacher, feel free to bring along your favorite young people! With advance notice, we can be prepared to help your environmentally-aware youth talk with their legislators. To learn more, call Lynn at 515-244-1194, ext 210.

From One Iowa:

Join One Iowa for Marriage Equality Day at the Capitol and have a face-to-face conversation about the importance of marriage equality with your legislator.

Featured Event: Marriage Equality Day at the Capitol

9-10:30 AM: Registration/Training @ State Historical Building

600 E. Locust St., Des Moines

10:45-4:00 PM: Share Your Story @ the Capitol

3:30 PM: “Let them Eat Cake”: Marriage Equality Reception at the Iowa State Capitol

If you can’t make it, send a letter to your legislators and have a conversation with a family member, co-worker, or friend about why marriage equality is important to you.

Then, follow up by posting a comment about your conversation on our facebook group page!

Wednesday, February 11:

From One Iowa:

Record a video describing why you support marriage equality in one minute or less. Go to the One Iowa Facebook group, scroll down to the video section, click ‘add video’ and upload your video. After you’ve shared your video with our facebook group, make sure to post it on your profile for all your friends to see!

Start your video with: “I’m One Iowan for marriage equality because…” (You can view samples at the One Iowa website.)

Featured Event: Ames/ISU “Our Story” Premiere

ISU LGBTA Alliance meeting, ISU campus, Martin Hall 2121

Thursday, February 12:

One Iowa has scheduled a premiere of the movie “Our Story” at the Englert Theater, 221 E. Washington Street in Iowa City. For exact time, check the One Iowa website.

Friday, February 13:

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s newsletter:

Job Openings: Summer Land Stewardship Interns

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is currently seeking college or college-bound students for our 2009 Summer Land Stewardship intern crew.  The application deadline is February 13. Past interns in this position have included Animal Ecology, Botany, Biology, Environmental Studies or Environmental Science majors and several other majors. You will work very hard in all weathers, but–especially if you ask questions–you’ll gain invaluable hands-on experience and knowledge from Iowa prairie experts. Any grade level are eligible for this particular internship. Experience and/or farm background helps, but enjoying outdoor work is crucial. There will be opportunities to work on Iowa’s various landscapes, including savannas, fens, cold-water trout streams, goat prairies, Loess Hills, wetlands, Mississippi blufflands, and everything in between! NOTE: Because of the large coverage area, applicants must have the ability to travel and the willingness to camp outdoors overnight. Job availability: 8 to 10 full-time interns for summer semester only. The job begins in mid-May and ends after the first week of August. For more information, e-mail Laurie Fenimore, internship coordinator at lfenimore@inhf.org or call (515) 288-1846. For more info about this exciting opportunity, visit our internship page at:


* * * * * * * * * *

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Events coming up this week

The big event of the week will be the first presidential debate this Friday. You can sign up to attend or host one of the debate watching parties being organized by Democracy for America by clicking here.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that early voting starts in Iowa on September 25. Last week I gave some reasons to vote early, and Justus wrote a more comprehensive piece on the subject at BooMan Tribune. Remember, it was early voting that put Al Gore over the top in Iowa in 2000.

Please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of an event I’ve left out.

Sunday, September 21:

Rob Hubler will be at the Monona County Democrats Annual Fall Rally at 4:30 p.m. in the Onawa Community Center.

One Iowa is holding a campaign training session for volunteers from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the University of Northern Iowa, Mauker Union – Presidential Room in Cedar Falls. For more info, go to http://www.oneiowa.org.

Tuesday, September 23:

Humanities Iowa and Trees Forever are hosting Voices From The Prairie, an Iowa Writers’ Celebration September 23rd, 7 pm at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, Iowa. Our theme this year is “Mixing Sun and Shade” as we explore how the prairie meets the forest. Our featured authors are John T. Price and Debra Marquart, both will discuss environmental issues and be available for questions. This event is free. fmi: Humanities Iowa, dana-mcgillin@uiowa.edu, or steve@southslope.net

One Iowa is holding a campaign training session for volunteers from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Mason City Library Learning Center, 225 Second St. SE in Mason City. For more info, go to http://www.oneiowa.org.

Wednesday, September 24:

From the Sierra Club e-mail list:

Please attend a forum on

Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund

The first two forums are this week–see the entire list of meetings below.

Grinnell  9/24/08 @ 6:30 pmOld Glove Factory,  733 Broad St. (part of

Grinnell College)

Independence  9/25/08 @ 6:30 PMHeartland Acres (the big, barn-like building

on the west side of Independence off HWY 20)

The Sustainable Funding Coalition, a diverse group of Iowa organizations (including Sierra Club, TNC, INHF, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Iowa

Farmers Union, Izaak Walton League, Environment Iowa, Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Rivers Revival, etc.) that works for sustainable conservation funding, is sponsoring a series of candidate forums on the proposed Natural

Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. […]

About the Fund: The proposed Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund would provide a permanent funding source to support efforts to improve and preserve Iowa’s water quality, soils, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

To create the fund, proposed legislation mandates that 3/8ths of a cent from state sales tax revenue will be appropriated for the Trust Fund the next

time the Iowa legislature approves a sales tax increase. The Sustainable Funding Coalition hopes to pass Trust Fund legislation during Iowa’s 2009

legislative session.  NOTE: This bill does not raise taxes, nor does it give voters the ability to raise the sales tax-only the legislature can do that.

Trees Forever will host a symposium entitled “Leading the Way to Greener Communities – Where Culture, Economy and the Environment Grow Together” on Wednesday, Sept 24. The event will be held from 8 AM to 4 PM at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, located at 10th & Walnut in Des Moines. The symposium will explore the economic, cultural and environmental benefits of trees and green spaces in an urban setting, public policies on green infrastructure, and other timely topics. Special guest speakers for the day include Suzanne Malec-McKenna, Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Environment, and Alice Ewen Walker, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Community Trees. The cost of the Trees Forever 2008 Symposium event is $25 for Trees Forever members or $35 for non-members, and includes lunch and refreshments. Advance registration is requested. For more information, or to register, log on to www.TreesForever.org or call 1-800-369-1269.

The Center on Sustainable Communities is organizing another Demo Home Workshop:

Join COSC and USGBC Iowa Chapter at our Foundations & Basements On-Site workshop on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Des Moines affordable green demonstration home site – 1347 Forest Avenue in the King-Irving Neighborhood. A CHDC (Community Housing Development Corporation) project, this is the second in our series of hands-on workshops at the affordable green demonstration homes in the Des Moines metro area.

A big thanks to the funding supporters of these demonstration home workshops:

   * Greater Des Moines Community Foundation

   * Principal Financial Group Foundation

   * Iowa Department of Natural Resources

   * Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

   * MidAmerican Energy

For more details visit www.icosc.com

RSVP by Monday, Sept. 22nd to Emily at Emily@icosc.com or 515-277-6222.

Thursday, September 25:

There will be a 60th Birthday Celebration and annual pasta dinner for Secretary of State Michael Mauro. Please join Michael and his family to celebrate! Thursday, September 25, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., A. H. Blank Golf Course, SW 9th & County Line Rd. Suggested Donation: $20 (note from desmoinesdem: We all owe Mauro our thanks for his efforts to get rid of paperless voting machines in Iowa. Kick in a few bucks for his birthday if you can.)

One Iowa is holding a campaign training session for volunteers from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at a location to be determined in Ames. For more info, go to http://www.oneiowa.org.

Also on Thursday, Sep 25, beginning at 6:30 p.m., learn about current, proposed conservation legislation and priorities of legislators and candidates, during a regional Candidates Conservation Forum in Independence, Iowa. Information will be presented on current and proposed state legislation to protect and enhance natural resources and the environment. Legislative candidates from a four-county area will be invited to speak about their priorities for legislation and answer questions from the public. The Forum will be held at the Heartland Acres Event Center, 2600 Swan Lake Blvd, in Independence, and is sponsored by the Conservation Board; Buchanan, Black Hawk, Benton and Fayette County Chapters of Pheasants Forever; Buchanan County Extension; the Friends of Hartman Reserve Nature Center, Tallgrass Prairie Center, and other conservation groups in the four-county region. There is no cost to attend.

Friday, September 26:

The first presidential debate will be televised at 8:00 pm central time. Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor and Anchor of The NewsHour on PBS will moderate at Ole Miss college in Oxford, Mississippi.

Saturday, September 27:

From a friend in Johnson County:

Saturday, September 27 is National Public Lands Day and Herbert Hoover National Historic Site is again looking for volunteers to help restore their 81-acre tallgrass prairie.

National Public Lands Day, is the annual nation-wide volunteer restoration effort for America’s public lands. This year’s work will

include cutting down shrubs and collecting or planting prairie seeds. Volunteers who work at Herbert Hoover NHS will be rewarded with a pass

good for free entry any day during the next year at public land sites managed by the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and

Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Volunteers interested in getting hands-on experience with our natural resources on September 27 should contact Adam Prato at (319) 643-7855 by

Friday, September 26. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable work clothes. Work gloves and tools will be provided. Water, sunscreen,

sunglasses, and hats are recommended. Meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. for an orientation and to get signed up. Work in the prairie will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

From a friend in Pella:

Women may be interested in Bodies in Focus, a day-long workshop for small groups of women, centering on my fine art professional photographic exhibit of REAL naked women.  The goal of our time together is for us all to move one step closer to     living more intensely as a body.  The workshop is for participant health. The photographed women and I want to share a unique and life-altering experience with portraiture, within a safe community. Ultimately, our gathering together will itself be transformational. The workshop will include exhibit viewing and thoughtful group discussion of being bodies (sharing is always optional).  Please plan to stay all day. You will be a group of up to 12 women, and so continuity of PRESENCE will be vital. Please stay for lunchtime,   as well, resisting the call to run errands.

WHEN: – We’ll meet on Saturday September 27, 2008 at 10:00 to 3:00, with an hour-long lunch included.

WHERE: –  My house: 900 Independence Street; Pella, IA  50219  (Located on the corner of Independence and West First Street)

FOOD: –  The lunch will be vegetarian (non-vegan). Please eat lunch here. Tell me if you have special dietary needs.

FEE    –  $65: Includes workshop and lunch. Please pay prior to the workshop. Bartering is an option.

Please RSVP to Rhonda (641) 621-0171

Sunday, September 28:

From the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation:

You’re invited to an open house honoring Erwin “Erv” Klaas, the 2008 winner of the Hagie Heritage Award!

Please join us in celebrating this conservation hero.

Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008

2:30-4:00 p.m. Open house with refreshments

3:00 p.m. Short program and award presentation

Story County Nature Center, McFarland Park

56461 180th Street, Ames

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation presents the Hagie Heritage Award annually to a person with extraordinary service and commitment to Iowa’s environment. Learn about Erv’s outstanding conservation work at www.inhf.org/hagie2008-klaas.htm

For directions to the event, call the Story County Conservation Board at 515-232-2516.

For more information, call INHF at 515-288-1846 or e-mail us at info@inhf.org .

From the Polk County Conservation Board:

A-mazing Prairie Festival

September 28, Polk County

Gather the entire family and join us 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt Longhouse, to play and explore a 14-acre prairie maze. A walk through this maze will not only challenge your navigation and problem-solving skills, but will educate you about our natural heritage as well. Free canoe floats, a raptor release, music from the Barn Owl Band, dog training demonstrations, education programs, and hayrack tours will take place throughout the day. This special event is free to the public. For directions, go online to http://www.conservationboard.o…

One Iowa is holding a campaign training session for volunteers from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St. For more info, go to http://www.oneiowa.org.

Monday, September 29:

There will be a fundraiser in Des Moines for Rob Hubler, with a minimum suggested donation of $100. If you are interested, please contact Katrina at 712-352-2077 or katrina AT hublercongress.com

From the Iowa Environmental Council:

Projects WILD/WILD Aquatic/Learning Tree On-line Course, Starting September 29, Internet

This nine-week on-line class (9/29/08 – 11/30/08) introduces students to the national, award-winning Projects WILD, WILD Aquatic, and Learning Tree activity guides as well as Iowa supplements that provide additional background information and resources. All materials are correlated to National Education Standards. Participants are required to spend 3 hours per week on-line completing assignments. Participants should be comfortable navigating web pages. A majority of the course materials are provided on a CD. For more information, contact Shannon Hafner, Aquatic Education Program, Iowa DNR, 641/ 747-2051, Shannon.Hafner@dnr.iowa.gov

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Congratulations to Erv Klaas of Ames

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation recently announced that Erwin “Erv” Klaas is the 2008 winner of the Hagie Heritage Award, given to recognize outstanding conservation work in Iowa. I am fortunate to know him, and I am thrilled to see the INHF honoring his contributions to the environment statewide and particularly in the Ames area.

I’ve posted the text of the INHF’s press release after the jump.

Klaas will formally receive the award at an open house on Sunday, Sept. 28, beginning at 2:30 pm at the Story County Nature Center in McFarland Park, 56461 180th Street in Ames. The public is welcome to attend this event.

All five nominees for the Hagie award were remarkable, and you can click here to learn more about the other finalists.

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More Iowans like these, please

Five great conservationists have been nominated for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s 2008 Lawrence and Eula Hagie Heritage Award. I am fortunate to know two of the five. Their knowledge and commitment inspire me.

After the jump you can read the press release that briefly describes each nominee. Click the links below to read longer summaries of what these people have accomplished. The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation will announce the winner later this summer.

Roland Bernau of Algona

Susan Heathcote of Des Moines

Roslea Johnson of Des Moines

Erwin Klaas of Ames

Jimmie Thompson of Ames

Feel free to mention any other outstanding environmentalists you know in the comments.

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