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Accelerating the Pace of Conservation

Conservation Tax Incentive Bills Introduced

In February 2015, bipartisan legislation to restore and make the enhanced incentive permanent was introduced in the House and Senate. The Conservation Easement Incentive Act was introduced in the House by Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) as H.R. 641 and in the Senate by Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) as S. 330.

H.R. 641 was packaged with other charitable giving incentives and  passed in the House on February 11 by a vote of 279-127.

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Our Current Public Policy Priorities

  1. Creating increased tax incentives for land conservation in both the federal income and estate tax
  2. Maximizing land trusts’ access to conservation funding in the Farm Bill
  3. Secure federal funding for land conservation programs (LWCF, Forest Legacy, NAWCA & Section 6)
  4. Improving IRS administration of conservation donation rules
  5. Increasing effective advocacy by land trusts

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For more frequent updates and details on legislation affecting land trust policy priorities, please that interest you. These regular, informal bulletins provide you with insider information and immediate action alerts on issues you care about.
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About the Alliance's Public Policy Program

Russ Video ThumbnailAs the national umbrella organization of 1,700 community-based land trusts, the Land Trust Alliance advocates for public policies that support land trusts’ conservation goals, including increased land conservation funding and improved tax incentives so that more landowners can afford to choose conservation. Such policies have opened the door to voluntary, landowner-led conservation of important wildlife habitat, productive working lands, and scenic open space across the country.

Alliance staff provide a voice for land trusts in halls of Congress, but ultimately the power of the land trust community is the sum of the relationships that individual land trusts have built with their elected officials.  Our goal is to provide land trusts the information, tools and inspiration to become a highly effective voices for policies that support private conservation.

Our Policy Team

Russ Shay

Russ has served as the Alliance’s Director of Public Policy since 1998. Russ is our lead lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and serves as the primary point of contact for all policy issues. 
202-800-2230 | Email | Twitter

Andy McLeod

Andy joined the Alliance in 2015. He manages and strengthens our national advocacy network and encourages engagement with new partners and members of the land trust community.  Andy is the also regional advocacy and policy lead for the 12 states of the Southeast.
202-800-4024 | Email

Bethany Erb

Bethany joined the Alliance in 2014, as the Western Advocacy & Outreach Manager. Bethany works with and manages the advocacy efforts of land trusts in the West.
202-800-2240 | Email | Twitter

Sean Robertson

Sean joined the Alliance in 2008. As the Northeastern Advocacy & Outreach Manager, Sean works with and manages the advocacy efforts of land trusts in the Northeast.
202-800-2229 | Email | Twitter

Bryan David

Bryan joined the Alliance in 2012. As the Government Relations Specialist, he coordinates much of our day-to-day work on tax incentives and federal appropriations, and manages policy-related communications to land trusts and external audiences. In addition, he works with and manages the advocacy efforts of land trusts in the Midwest.
202-800-2223 | Email | Twitter

George Chapman

George is a recent graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, where he majored in English and Environmental Studies. He has interned for Western Reserve Land Conservancy and worked at an organic produce farm. George is an avid fly-fisherman and has fished extensively across the Great Lakes. He is passionate about preserving our lakes and rivers.

202-800-2233 | Email

Lizzy Haymaker

Lizzy is a 2014 graduate of the University of North Florida, where she majored in Biology and Environmental Science. She has previously worked for the North Florida Land Trust, Orange County (Orlando) Environmental Protection Division, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and Florida Fish and Wildlife. Lizzy has a strong interest in the interactions between humans and their environment and ecological systems.

202-800-2242 | Email

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Our ability to effectively take on new policy priorities depends entirely on the support provided by donors to the Land Trust Alliance. Please donate today.

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Advocates Alerts

February 12: The House successfully voted 279-137, demonstrating a supermajority (67%) of support, on H.R. 644, a package of charitable incentives including the conservation tax incentive.Now we need your help in the Senate to secure co-sponsors! Sens. Heller and Stabenow have requested land trusts’ assistance in asking senators to cosponsor S. 330, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. Learn more »

View Past Alerts Sign-up Now
Congress wrestles with tax breaks for open space

July 29, 2014 | Poughkeepsie Journal | NY

House passes Gerlach conservation tax break bill, now up to Senate

July 18, 2014 | The Mercury News | Pottstown, PA

The Time is Now for Congress to Act on Conservation

July 15, 2014 | Politico | Washington, D.C.

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