Photography courtesy of Lowell Washburn, all rights reserved.
Former Iowa State Representative Scott Ourth has been named the Iowa Wildlife Federation executive director.
“After an extensive national search, the IWF Board of Directors has named Scott Ourth our new executive director,” reports Board President Rich Leopold. “Scott’s years of professional experience as a conservation legislator, his passion for Iowa’s natural resources, and his lifetime of outdoorsmanship make him the ideal choice for this position.”
Ourth comes to his new responsibilities by way of a lifetime of hunting, fishing, paddling, and backpacking the woods, prairies, mountains, and waterways of America. He graduated from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, where four generations of his family have attended for nearly a century. Ourth was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 2012, serving four terms on the House Agriculture Committee, and was Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Appropriations for Agriculture and Natural Resources. He also served as Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee where his bipartisan measures resulted in the passage of important conservation legislation. Representative Ourth is the recipient of several conservation-related honors and awards. “I am honored beyond words to be granted this opportunity”, Ourth said in an interview today. “I am eager to turn all of my attention and energy toward protecting and preserving Iowa’s unique wildlife populations, habitat, ecosystems, and outdoor traditions.”
The IWF is one of Iowa’s oldest conservation organizations, chartered in 1952. It is the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, “The National Wildlife Federation is excited for the Iowa Wildlife Federation at the news of their hire of Scott Ourth as executive director”, underscores Steve Bender, NWF Director of Conservation Partnerships. “As a legislator Scott built strong bipartisan relationships, and he has a sterling reputation for getting things done as Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee. He will do incredible things for Iowa, for the IWF, and for wildlife.”
Ourth began his duties on September 7 and attended his first meeting of the full IWF Board of Directors last week. The IWF Board reaffirmed at today’s board meeting that its top priority for the 2022 legislative session will be funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund through a sales tax increase of 3/8 of one cent or more, which would generate approximately $180 million per year for improved conservation of Iowa’s natural resources. The constitutionally protected Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund was passed with the overwhelming support of 63% of Iowa voters in 2010 but remains unfunded until the Iowa Legislature and governor approve the sales tax increase. “The Iowa Wildlife Federation looks forward to partnering with Governor Reynolds, the Iowa Legislature, the Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy Coalition, Iowa’s business leaders, and the Iowa conservation community to ensure that we at long last fund the Trust in 2022”, noted Ourth.