On the Radio: State forest nursery future uncertain

The Iowa State Forest Nursery (Iowa DNR)
The Iowa State Forest Nursery (Iowa DNR)
March 2, 2015

This week’s On the Radio segment looks into recent reports that one of Iowa’s state nurseries may be nearing a shutdown. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

Transcript: State Forest Nursery

The future of Iowa’s state-owned forest nurseries could be in jeopardy.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that economic issues and changes in land-use patterns have forced the Department of Natural Resources to consider shutting down the state’s nearly 80-year old forest nursery. A sharp decline in seedling sales is costing the DNR about a half million dollars each year.

Proponents of the state’s forest nursery have proposed reaching a new agreement with Iowa Prison Industries to keep the nursery open. Currently as many as 65 minimum security inmates work on a seasonal basis at the state nurseries. A final decision is expected to be reached in time for the spring planting season.

When Iowa was first settled in the middle of the 19th century more than seven million acres of forests covered the land. Today Iowa has just under three million acres of forests.

For more information about Iowa’s state-owned forest nursery visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.


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