Capital Clicks

Litterers could lose hunting, fishing, camping privileges

By: - February 24, 2021 2:21 pm

Ledges State Park is in Boone County, Iowa. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Litterers could lose their hunting and fishing licenses and state park camping privileges for a year under a bill advanced to the full Senate Wednesday. 

An amendment to Senate File 375 took away language that would have required the Iowa Natural Resource Commission to take the privileges away for a year after a littering conviction. The new version allows the NRC to take that action, but doesn’t require it. 

Iowa law bans littering on highways, rights of way, waters and lands of the state, and areas the NRC oversees. That mainly involves state parks and preserves.

The bill would add the loss of hunting, fishing, camping and facility rental privileges as possible penalties in addition to the varying fines laid out in state law for littering. 

If someone loses their privileges but camps in a state park anyway, they could be charged with a simple misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a fine between $105 and $855. The legislation does not set out a system for checking each camper to see if they have lost privileges.

The bill cleared the Senate Natural Resources Committee Wednesday.

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Perry Beeman
Perry Beeman

Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.

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