New hope for Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
To the editor:
For the many people who have visited the Neal Smith Wild Life Refuge, the New Year — and a new Congress — could bring renewed hope that the native ecosystems the refuge protects, like tallgrass prairie and oak savannah, will be protected for generations to come.
Tallgrass prairie once covered 80 percent of Iowa. Now, less than 0.1 percent remains in our state. Fifty years ago, with threats to special places across the nation in mind, Congress set up the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect our parks like Neal Smith. Today, Neal Smith is home to 5,600 acres of protected prairie. However, unless Congress acts now, the program will run out of funding in late March.
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