"Elsewhere across the state, Jim Rubis of Fairfield was fighting a similar battle along with friends who formed Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors Inc. Ditto for hundreds of people who live in the Clear Lake area.
The Dickinson County confinement opponents were prepared to sue to stop a New Fashion Pork development four miles west of West Okoboji Lake. They didn't have to, but they continue to burn up e-mail servers with plans to fight for county zoning of hog confinements and other livestock operations. The Okobojians teamed with residents of Fairfield and Clear Lake - and other spots around Iowa - to form the Iowa Network for Local Control, which is raising $200,000 for lobbying and legal fees. Koepp told state lawmakers at a rules committee hearing last week that lake residents and visitors caught off guard by the latest confinement proposal now know that the current regulations favor the livestock industry, not confinement critics. "It's apparent we are getting the short end of the stick," Koepp said. "You need to enter into a serious dialogue on this in the next Legislature." Rubis last week told lawmakers that his group collected 2,000 signatures in a county of 16,000, in two days, supporting local control. "We were told by legislators there was no interest in doing this," Rubis said. The group collected 700 letters in support, then began quietly lobbying. "There IS interest," he added. Murphy, who lives near the Iowa Great Lakes and just south of land eyed for the now-shelved confinement, told lawmakers, "I would plead with you to do the will of the people. Agricultural interests are running this state and we need some balance." The network's idea: Let counties zone hog confinements, as they would other businesses that have steady emissions. The chances of the group succeeding: Unknown. However, lawmakers have steadfastly refused such an action, and have voted several times to make even clearer the state's control over livestock. Last week, the Iowa Administrative Rules Review Committee let stand a new rule that will give Jeff Vonk, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the power to consider a wider range of environmental factors before approving new livestock operations. However, the panel also formally objected to the rule - basically declaring it illegal and inviting a legal challenge. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation said it would watch the DNR's actions for a while before deciding whether to sue." http://tinyurl.com/rmfbo To subscribe, send a message to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Or go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ and click 'Join This Group!' Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/