During November/December last year, Jones County Conservation coordinated a series of focus groups while Iowa DNR conducted a mail-in public survey. The purpose of these was to gather input from county residents on their thoughts and priorities of the Maquoketa River and the Mon-Maq Dam. The focus groups were hand selected by conservation, the information provided was biased, and not surprisingly, the results tended to support destroying the dam. However, there were only 37 people in these groups and not a statistical sampling.
The DNR survey was sent to 2,600 random Jones County registered voters and the 400+ respondents do make it statically valid. It shows a significant opposition to destroying the dam and that the most preferred alternative was the “No Action”. Additionally, of 12 priorities to choose from, “Leave the dam the way it is” had the highest response. Both the focus groups and survey results, along with upcoming public meetings, are intended to provide community interests to the Conservation Board. We agree, there should be community input before a final decision is made.
It is concerning to learn that “Jones County Conservation Officials” have been promoting this upcoming public meeting to out-of-county special interest group(s). It could seem that they are trying to load the audience with people that support their position. Hmmm, so much for “community listening”.
The Board of Directors and 150+ members of Friends of Mon-Maq Dam invite you to attend this important public meeting on April 4th, 6 p.m. at Camp Courageous.
Tom Osborne, President
Friends of Mon-Maq Dam