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Open Space (28% of REAP funds) - This money is allocated to DNR for state acquisition and development of lands and waters. The Natural Resource Commission has set a policy that half this money be directed to land acquisition and half to facility developments.
One-tenth of this 28% is set aside to cost-share land acquisitions with private organizations. The cost-share arrangement entails 75% of the acquisition costs coming from REAP and the other 25% coming from private contributions. This program provides an excellent opportunity for private conservation organizations to help provide outdoor recreation opportunities and protect critical habitat. The DNR owns and manages the property that is jointly purchased on behalf of the public. A project review committee made up of 3 DNR administrators and 3 representatives of private conservation organizations selects the projects.
Applications for these projects are accepted once a year on August 15th.
One-twentieth of this 28% is available to the state's Protected Water Areas (PWA) program. This program is directed at acquiring land along designated rivers to maintain their scenic and natural qualities. Portions of the Boone, Little Sioux, Middle Raccoon, Upper Iowa, and Wapsipinicon Rivers are currently designated "protected water areas."
The Open Space component has an important requirement that is very popular among local officials. Property taxes on land purchased with REAP Open Space funds continue to be paid. In other words, the property remains on the tax roles and its acquisition by the state does not place financial burdens on local governments. The DNR pays these taxes with funds from the REAP Open Space account.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Wallace State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319