On a 82-12 vote, the House approved an amendment to Iowa’s constitution that, if approved by Iowans, would create a new natural resources and outdoor recreation trust fund. House Joint Resolution 1, which is the top priority of conservation groups, hunters and fishers, is designed to protect and enhance water quality and natural areas, like parks, trails and wildlife habitat.

If the resolution is passed by the Senate this year, it will be on the ballot in November 2010 for a vote by the general public. If approved, the amendment would dedicate 3/8th of 1 cent if the state’s sales tax is ever raised again by the Legislature. The vote in 2010 will not raise the state sales tax.

The proposal was crafted by the Sustainable Natural Resource Funding Advisory Committee, which was established in 2006, with members from Ducks Unlimited, the Sierra Club, Farm Bureau, Iowa Environmental Council, Izaak Walton League, and others.