January 10, 2012
Conservation Update: More Land and More Jobs
By Bob Marshall
Iowa Couple Donates Hunting Land
The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism, gave us this well-known truism: "Give a man a fish; feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; feed him for a lifetime." That moral lesson comes to mind when thinking of the gift Iowa farming couple Ken and Sharon Sawyer gave to Iowa sportsmen: 400 acres of fully restored wildlife habitat that will be added to the 715-acre Clanton Creek Natural Resource Area in Madison County. They just gave Iowa hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts lifetimes of enjoyment.
The Clanton Creek area was already special, forming the largest land-locked wilderness in the county, offering some of the finest public hunting in south-central Iowa. The Sawyers had spent two decades restoring the wildlife potential of their property, and wanted to keep it that way.
Their wish gained the help and work of Pheasants Forever, the Madison County Conservation Board, and a grant from the Iowa Wildlife Habitat Stamp Cost-Share program. Now the "Sawyer Management Unit" is part of the 1,110-acre Clanton Creek Natural Resource Area, all of it protected for fish and wildlife--and open to public access.
Another Example That Habitat Protections Create More Jobs
More ammunition for sportsmen who are told environmental regulations to protect fish, wildlife, and human habitat are job killers: A new report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation shows state and federal regulations passed to speed the clean-up of the Chesapeake estuary have already created 40,000 new jobs a total that could rise to more than 178,000.
For a quick comparison: The controversial Keystone XL Pipeline being pushed by industries as a "job-engine" would create only about 6,500 jobs. The numbers are important because industry forces in Congress that spent last year trying to roll back regulations continually hammered sportsmen's conservation groups with the "jobs issue." They claim environmental rules are so costly to companies they will cause shut-downs and mass layoffs. But a series of reports show a much different track record: Regulations typically end up creating jobs, as industries hire companies and workers to comply with the new rules.
Some of the highlights from the foundation report on the Chesapeake clean-up regulations:
* Overall, the number of environmental clean-up and monitoring jobs in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia has surged 43 percent over the last two decades, from 98,000 jobs in 1990 to 140,000 jobs in 2009, with a significant portion of this growth coming from required sewage and water system improvement projects.
* Construction is underway in Montgomery County, Maryland, on $305 million in stormwater pollution control projects that will create 3,300 construction and engineering jobs. Sixteen similar stormwater projects could provide work for 178,000 full-time-equivalent jobs across the region over the next five years; including 36,000 jobs in Maryland, 10,000 in the District of Columbia, 80,000 in Pennsylvania, and 52,000 in Virginia, according to a projection by the Economic Policy Institute.