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Land Conservation Organizations Meet with Key Lawmakers

April 18, 2012 | Land Trust Alliance | Washington, D.C.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Russ Shay
Director of Public Policy
202-800-2230 | rshay@lta.org

 

Urge House Passage of Conservation Tax Bill and Support for Farm Bill Programs

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, land trusts are descending on Capitol Hill for 118 meetings with key members of the Agriculture, Appropriations and tax-writing committees that could decide the fate of billions of dollars for land conservation. The Land Trust Alliance arranged these meetings to demonstrate the widespread support for land conservation programs throughout the country.  Land trust practitioners are promoting the economic, social and natural impact their work has on rural, suburban and urban communities alike.

“There is strong bipartisan support for land conservation in Congress because everyone can agree on the need for what land trusts provide: clean water, land to grow food, urban parks and gardens, and places to connect with nature,” said Land Trust Alliance President Rand Wentworth. 

Land trusts are community-based conservation organizations formed by local citizens that acquire and protect land for the benefit of their community. Strong land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources.

“It’s important to come to Washington and explain how voluntary land conservation helps to allow people to keep working the land the way they have been for decades,” said Glen Chown, executive director of Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (MI). “People support our organization because we protect the land that gives meaning to our community.”

Landowners can retire the development rights on their land by donating a conservation easement to a land trust in their community – keeping their lands in productive use, protecting important fish and wildlife habitat, and conserving our scenic and historic heritage.

The Conservation Easement Tax Incentive, H.R. 1964, with 303 House co-sponsors and majorities of both Republicans and Democrats, will help thousands of family farmers, ranchers, and forest owners afford to conserve their land, while certain Farm Bill programs will provide cost-effective funding that leverages private dollars to conserve productive farm and ranch lands.

The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation organization that leads a national network of 1,700 land trusts – local, nonprofit organizations working to protect clean water, safe food, and places to connect with nature. We increase the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected. We enhance the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using best practices. And we ensure the permanence of conservation by creating the laws and resources needed to defend protected land over time. Details at www.lta.org/policy.

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