# Kayla Lyon



DNR director offers a cautionary tale for Iowans who hunt, fish

Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon has a message for Iowans after being cited on March 21 for fishing without a license in Jackson County.

Reached by email on March 25, Lyon confirmed a record in Iowa Courts Online referred to her citation, explaining,

I had my combination hunting and fishing license set to auto renew but my bank issued me a new card and I forgot to update the system. I was paddlefishing on the Mississippi last Friday [March 18]. When I was informed that I didn’t have a valid license, I asked our law enforcement chief to issue me a citation as soon as we could connect on Monday morning. It was an honest mistake but the laws apply to me just like anyone else. I have since gone online and renewed my combination license.

I’m told this situation is not uncommon. I would encourage anyone with an Iowa license to routinely check their accounts to ensure this doesn’t happen to them.

I would guess that most people who use credit cards have forgotten to update their information on some recurring charge after getting a new card. So this case presents a useful warning to Iowa’s “hook and bullet crowd”: next time you go fishing or hunting, check beforehand to make sure your licenses are up to date.

Lyon set a good example by acknowledging her mistake, knowing the citation would be listed in publicly available databases.

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New Iowa carbon task force looks like greenwashing

“If someone tasked you with making an exhaustive list of who could profit from carbon sequestration, this is what you would come up with,” tweeted Chris Jones, a research engineer at the University of Iowa who has written extensively about agriculture and water quality.

He was referring to the Carbon Sequestration Task Force, which Governor Kim Reynolds established through a June 22 executive order. In a written statement touting the initiative, Reynolds said Iowa “is in a strong position to capitalize on the growing nationwide demand for a more carbon free economy.” She will chair the task force, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will co-chair.

The task force looks like a textbook greenwashing effort: deploying concern about about “sustainability” and “low carbon solutions” as cover for policies that will direct public money to large corporations in the energy and agriculture sectors.

One tell: Reynolds did not involve any of Iowa’s leading environmental organizations, which have long worked to reduce carbon emissions.

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Exclusive: Bonuses push five Iowa agency heads above maximum pay

Governor Kim Reynolds has approved bonuses for at least five current state agency directors, allowing them to receive substantially more compensation than the top of the pay scale Iowa law sets for their positions.

The Iowa Department of Administrative Services disclosed information about four agency leaders now receiving such bonuses in response to Bleeding Heartland’s public records request. The Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Erin Jordan was first to report on Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Paul Trombino’s bonus, in an article published April 7.

This post discusses each official’s bonus pay in the order that they were awarded. The governor’s spokesperson Pat Garrett did not respond to an April 7 email seeking to clarify whether any other heads of state departments are receiving greater compensation than the statutory maximum for their positions.

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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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