Iowa’s Allamakee County looks to implement nation’s strictest frac sand mining ordinance


Nick Fetty | June 5, 2014
Photo via Erick Gustafson; Flickr
Photo via Erick Gustafson; Flickr

On Tuesday, the Allamakee County (Iowa) Board of Supervisors voted 3-0 to approve what looks to be “the most strict frac sand mining ordinance in the nation,” according to Robert Nehman, President of the Allamakee County Protectors.

The Board not only intends to protect environmental and agricultural interests with this ordinance but also aims to reduce the impact on county infrastructure – such as roads and bridges – that often see increases in heavy traffic due to frac sand mining operations. The ordinance is in response to the plethora of frac sand mining operations that have popped up all over Wisconsin since 2009.

In January, the Iowa Policy Project compiled a report about frac sand mining in northeast Iowa and the Cedar Rapids Gazette editorial board published an article about the implications of frac sand mining in northeast Iowa in February.

For more information, check out the draft of the ordinance.

EDIT: Post originally stated it was the nation’s strictest “fracking” ordinance.  The ordinance instead applies to “sand frac mining.”

Re-created Iowa stream is now home to native animals and plants


An Iowa stream. Photo by crazyegg95, Flickr

I missed this story last month, but it is good enough that I feel compelled to share it now . . .

Mike Osterholm purchased land in Allamakee County back in 2002. In 2004, Osterholm decided to re-create a stream on the land that was drained into a ditch 60 years ago to make way for a cornfield.

After years of work, the stream is complete, and its banks are lined with prairie grass and other native vegetation.

In 2009, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources added 500 fingerlings of a native trout to the stream. The trout have thrived in their new location.

For the full article from The Gazette, click here.

Safety reminders for hunters


Last Friday, two Iowa men sustained gunshot wounds while deer hunting.

A man from Lansing was hit in the back of the head while hunting in Allamakee County, and a man from Muscatine injured his hand when his gun discharged while he was putting it away.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources offers four rules for firearm safety that should help prevent these types of incidents:

  1. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
  2. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
  3. Be certain of your target and what is beyond it
  4. Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot

For more information, visit Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources hunting safety page here.