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Accelerating the Pace of Conservation

House Passes Conservation Tax Incentive

The House voted on H.R. 4719, "The America Gives More Act," which contains the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 277-130. This is the first time every member of Congress has gone on record making the easement incentive permanent. The measure now goes to the Senate, where we have strong support, but will face new challenges in breaking through a legislative logjam. See the latest »

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

Barton James

Barton joined the Alliance in 2013, as the Conservation Campaign Director. He leads the Alliance’s advocacy initiative, constructing a national grasstops network to harness the political strength of the nation’s 1,700 land trusts. In addition, he works with and manages land trust advocacy efforts in the Southeast.
202-800-2239 | Email | Twitter

Bethany O'Donovan

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

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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

July 17: The House just voted 277-130 to pass the charities package! 56 Democrats joined their Republican colleagues to support charitable giving incentives, including the enhanced easement incentive - the second-highest number of defections after the research and development tax credit. Several others spoke on the floor in support of the conservation easement incentive, and other favorable charitable incentives. Thank you to organizations like Ducks Unlimited, CSF and others that reached out to Congressional offices over the last few days or alerted their membership of this important vote. Now, we pivot to the Senate.
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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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