A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest:
INTERACTIVE HUNTING ATLAS: Iowa hunters can access an Interactive Hunting Atlas to find new places to go hunting at iowadnr.gov/hunting.
The site features more than 680,000 acres of hunting land owned by state, county or federal governments. Information is updated as public hunting lands are acquired.
This tool allows hunters to see which zone the public area is in, type of shot allowed, wildlife likely to be found and also get an overhead look at the terrain. The mobile version of the atlas will show hunter location on the area, if granted permission.
The atlas view from above, which can be printed, allows hunters to zoom in on an area, see how to get there, the lay of the land and where one parcel of public hunting land is in relation to others.
The hunting atlas also includes private land enrolled in the Iowa Habitat and Access Program where private landowners receive assistance to improve habitat on their land in exchange for opening the property to hunters.
Site maps for that program are available at iowadnr.gov/ihap. Walk-in public hunting in those areas is available between Sept. 1 and May 31.
GOP ADDS TO MAJORITY: Republican Jon Dunwell, a pastor and financial services representative from Newton, claimed the Iowa House District 29 seat in a special election held Tuesday.
Dunwell, 55, defeated Democratic opponent Steve Mullan, a Newton city council member, by garnering about 60 percent of the vote.
Dunwell replaces former Rep. Wes Breckenridge, D-Newton, who stepped down last month to take a state job.
By flipping the seat in a district — that includes Newton, Colfax, Mingo, Kellogg, Prairie City, Baxter and parts of rural Jasper County —, Republicans now hold a 60-40 majority in the Iowa House.
Tuesday’s results are slated to be certified by Jasper County and Iowa Board of Canvass officials in time for Dunwell to be sworn in to participate in the Legislature’s Oct. 28 special session to consider proposed legislative and congressional maps as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process.