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Newly proposed legislation would prevent the Iowa Department of Natural Resources from bidding on private land at auction and from acquiring the land from conservation organizations that obtained it in a “competitive manner.”

It is the latest attempt by Republican lawmakers to restrict the state’s acquisitions in favor of making the land available to livestock producers.

“The competitiveness between our young farmers trying to get started and government entities — that’s our concern with this, and that’s why we brought this bill forward,” said Sen. Annette Sweeney, R-Alden, who recommended Senate Study Bill 3129 for further consideration on Wednesday.

The bill was introduced the day before and was swiftly scheduled for a subcommittee hearing Wednesday morning, a move that drew criticism from some who attended the hearing because they said it limited public participation in the discussion. Still, a sizeable showing of 30 residents and lobbyists voiced their opposition.


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