Alliance Gives Up Push For Loess Hills “Reserve” Status After County Board Vote

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

There will be no federal reserve status for the Loess Hills.

One day after the Mills County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution opposing the reserve designation, members of the Loess Hills Alliance board of directors put an end to their pursuit of the federal protection.

The Mills County vote took place Tuesday after supervisors listened to public comments on both sides of the issue.

Those speaking in opposition of the federal reserve designation voiced fear about the federal government telling landowners how they should manage their property.

“We like it the way it is now,” Sue Vinton said. “It’s our property to do as we want.”

Those in favor of the designation encouraged the county supervisors to gain a better understanding of what the designation would mean before taking a formal vote.

Mills County Engineer Kevin Mayberry, who said he was addressing the board as a citizen and the owner of a 125-acre farm in the Loess Hills, said participation in the program would be voluntary for landowners. By voting in opposition of the federal designation, Mayberry said the supervisors would be denying property owners the option of having the federal protection for their land.

Supervisor Ron Kohn said one of his primary concerns is the lack of information about the federal reserve proposal.

“Nobody knows what the expectations are,” Kohn said. “I still don’t know what the benefits of the reserve status are.”

Supervisor Lonnie Mayberry said there are “too many unknowns” to support the federal designation. 

Richard Crouch, the third member of the county board, said federal reserve status for the Loess Hills is unnecessary in Mills County.

“We have enough rules and regulations county-wide to preserve what we have,” Crouch said.

The Loess Hills Alliance’s decision to give up the fight for the national reserve designation was made during a meeting Wednesday after board members learned that county supervisors from Mills, Fremont, Harrison and Monona counties had passed resolutions expressing opposition or concern to the federal designation.