Why I care about public land

Watch the video or read on...it's the same rant either way.

Hi. I’m Chris. I’m an outdoorsman, a husband and a dad.

I feel that banning the expansion of public land in Iowa does not create the future I want for my family. Yet some recently proposed legislation would do just that.

This is my family. We like playing outdoors. My little girl here, in just her short time on this earth, has gone with us on many outdoor adventures. We’ve gone camping. We’ve gone fishing. We’ve hiked trails. We’ve gone boating. We’ve gone canoeing.

We’ve made memories. Lots of them. The kind of memories that define your life as you age. And nearly all of those memories were made on public land.

The campgrounds we stay at. The trails we walk. The lakes we float on. All public land.

My girl caught her first fish from a pond on public land. She will likely harvest her first squirrel, turkey, deer and pheasant on public land.

I can’t wait to make those memories with her and her new little brother.

And I know I’m not the only parent that feels this way. I’d bet the vast majority of Iowans share this sentiment. Yet the people in Des Moines have seen fit to propose legislation all but banning the expansion of public land in this state. Seriously?!

If this legislation were to pass, Iowa would be a leading exporter of corn, beans, and smart, well educated young people. We know that healthy lands and waters, abundant outdoor recreation and related quality of life opportunities are important to today’s young workforce. And that’s not likely to change any time soon. Lord knows that will be true for my kids.

Which is the crux of this issue, at least for me. I know that, sooner than I wish, my little girl will grow up and look to start her own life somewhere.

And there may come a day where she says, “Dad, I’m moving to…somewhere far away.” And all those memories of trail hikes and camping and fishing trips and times spent together outdoors will come flooding back. And it’ll suck.

Sure, that conversation may happen no matter what. But if such a decision is made, even in part, because my generation made it illegal to create more of the types of places our family grew up enjoying, then…I don’t know.

All I know is how important public lands are to me and my family and I am not content to watch my kids grow up knowing that there likely won’t be much more of it when it comes time for them to go out and make their own family memories.

That’s not the future I want and I will fight with every fiber of my being to prevent that future from becoming a reality.

But I’m just one guy. I can’t do it alone. So if you believe in a future for Iowa that includes more public land, then help me stop this legislation. Contact your legislators. Call, email, tweet, tag, share the hell out of this…whatever. 

Let’s rally together an army of public land owning moms and dads and fellow outdoorsmen and make it clear that, with something like this, the suits in Des Moines don’t get to dictate our future. We do.

Thank you.