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Policy Events at Rally 2010

Join us in Hartford, CT, October 2-5, 2010 for dozens of policy-related seminars and workshops.  Come learn how to lobby effectively, explore specific policy issues and funding opportunities and pose questions to the federal agencies that impact your work.

Also at Rally, the Public Policy 2010 Update and 2011 Review is your opportunity to help set our policy priorities--what policies will help your conservation work the most?  Check back in a few weeks or Subscribe to our Advocates Alerts for a memo describing these options  with instructions for responding in person or online.

The following is an inclusive list of seminars, workshops and special events that relate to policy advocacy, federal agencies and tax administration -- far beyond the Public Policy workshop track.  We hope you'll find time to attend some of these sessions.

Click here for Rally registration and complete details. The deadline for pre-registration has passed, but you're still welcome to attend and register on-site.

 

Highlights

Saturday, October 2

Seminars

View seminar faculty bios.

SEM-5: Conserving Forests, Preserving Climate: A Deep Dive into Carbon Emissions Reduction Project Development

Constance Best, Derik Broekhoff, Sean Carney, Lenny Hochschild
Saturday, October 2, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Intermediate $85/$100

There is a lot of interest in climate change, carbon projects and carbon markets, but this brave new incentive for conservation can be mystifying for land trusts to understand and access. This course is an in-depth introduction to how land trusts can contribute to healing the atmosphere through the development of conservation projects on U.S. forestland that also can be registered as projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn from and question the experts actively developing the policies, markets and, most importantly, actual projects in different states capable of earning recognition and reward for their measurable climate benefits.

SEM-10: The Appraisal Mine Field: What a Land Trust Needs to Know - CLE

Peter Sartucci, Ariel Steele
Saturday, October 2, 8:30am – 4:00pm
Intermediate $150/$180

In this interactive, group-oriented session, learn how to review an appraisal for glaring red flags that could jeopardize your landowner’s donation and your conservation organization’s reputation. Get your hands on appraisals designed just for this class, learn qualified appraisal requirements, discuss the problems and what they mean for landowners and the conservation organization, and apply your knowledge to real-life scenarios, such as talking to a landowner about a faulty appraisal or putting the appraiser on trial. At the end of the session, you will have the tools to identify problems and suggest corrections before signing the 8283 form.

SEM-12: From Successful Ballot Measure to Conservation Results: Government and Land Trusts Working Together

Joshua Alpert, Maria Cipriani, Wendy Eliot, Andrea MacKenzie, Sandra Tassel
Saturday, October 2, 8:30am – 4:30pm
All Levels $150/$180

Ballot measures to create land conservation funding can provide crucial revenues for local governments and land trusts. After voter approval, local leaders must design a program to responsibly invest the revenues in acquisition and stewardship of cherished landscapes. Workshop focuses on the work of program design including strategic land protection, leverage, diverse partnerships, and measures of success. The presentation will draw from research conducted for the Trust for Public Land and from the experiences of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and the Sonoma Land Trust. Lessons are applicable to both new and existing local government acquisition programs.

SEM-13: Tax Aspects of Conservation Easements - CLE

Tim Lindstrom
Saturday, October 2, 8:30am – 4:30pm
Basic/All Levels  $150/$180

The course is based upon the premise that, given IRS activity in recent years, most everyone in land conservation needs to understand basic tax principles.  The course is directed at the beginner (and those needing a refresher) including land trust staff, landowners and professionals.  This is a basic but comprehensive introduction to the tax laws governing conservation easements, conservation transactions and land trusts.

The course will cover compliance with section 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code for deductibility; calculation of both income and estate tax benefits from easement contributions and bargain sales; land trust responsibilities in the substantiation of contributions; appraisal requirements; the role of easements in estate planning; tax law governing land trust operations; and recent developments in the law.  The presenter is author of A Tax Guide to Conservation Easements, published in 2008 by Island Press, and the text will be the basis for the course.

SEM-14: Expanding Conservation Capacity in Communities and Agencies

Kris Larson, Chris Miller, Amy Owsley, John Theilacker
Saturday, October 2, 9:00am – 5:00pm
All Levels $150/$180

Greater achievement of a land trust's mission is often dependent upon supportive actions by local, state, and federal governments with a stake in the management of community resources. Such support does not always flow naturally, but can be cultivated by a land trust through education, advocacy, model "tool" building, and by providing technical assistance to community leaders and government agencies to yield mutually beneficial outcomes. Session leaders representing four land trusts from the mid-Atlantic and Midwest with considerable community cultivation experience will use this session to help participants learn how to more effectively cultivate government support in their communities.

SEM-16: Creating a National Pool of Tax Experts II - CLE

Stephen J. Small
Saturday, October 2, 9:00am – 5:00pm
All Levels $150/$180

This tax seminar will build upon the foundation laid during Rally 2009. The goal of the workshop is to cover in more detail appraisal techniques and questions, and to teach attendees to spot basic to complex tax problems associated with conservation easements. The seminar will provide a short review of the IRS Code Section 170(h) and how it impacts the deductibility of a conservation easement’s value from federal taxes. After this short review, which is primarily geared toward getting first-time attendees up to speed, appraisal techniques, issues, and case studies will be presented to the group. The remainder of the seminar will be spent presenting real-world case studies for the attendees’ consideration. These case studies will present basic, advanced, and complex tax issues surrounding conservation easements. Each case study will first present the facts to the attendees. To promote participation and learning, the attendees will be asked to identify major issues within the case and make recommendations for possible solutions. After each case has been discussed, the original issues and final real-world solutions will be revealed to the seminar participants prior to moving on to the next case study. Case studies will be presented in a progression from basic issues/solutions to complex issues/solutions.

Sunday, October 3

 

Seminars

SEM-18: Advanced Tax Strategies in Land Conservation - CLE

William T. Hutton
Sunday, October 3, 8:00am – 12:00pm
Advanced $85/$100

This seminar is intended for the experienced land trust project manager or legal counsel.  Your acquaintance with the basic concepts of the federal income and wealth transfer tax regimes -- including experience with an array of charitable planning mechanisms -- will be presumed.  Our discussions will be problem-based, covering such topics as proposed estate and gift tax changes, potential private-benefit transactions, like-kind exchanges and condemnations, current conservation easement issues (including the presently enhanced income tax benefits), transactions with partnerships and corporations, and land trust operational concerns (including contribution acknowledgments, transactions with "insiders," and the measure of public support).  The problems will be sent to the group in advance, and both preparation and participation is expected.

 

SEM-20: Building Your Land Trust with the Tools of Promotion

Illene Roggensack
Sunday, October 3, 8:00am – 12:00pm
Basic/Intermediate $85/$100

The local land trust has a difficult time pursing its mission and reaching meaningful goals without intentional communications.  Letting the public, elected officials, donors and even internal stakeholders know of your work is imperative to the organization’s long-term sustainability and success.  Spend a half day exploring how to develop and use effective outreach methodologies and tools: 1) identifying target audiences; 2) developing “message” and “brand”, 3) considering day-to-day communications – logo and letterhead, website and social media, brochure, DVDs/audio visuals, media releases, newsletters; and 4) supporting special projects – site signage, fundraising campaign materials, advocacy pieces.

 

SEM-32: Energy Development: Imminent Threats To and Potential Opportunities for Land Conservation

Dale Bonar, Sherri Evans-Stanton, Amy Hansen, Andy Loza, Chris Miller, Andy Oliver, Dan Pike
Sunday, October 3, 9:00am – 5:00pm
All Levels $150/$180

Wind, hydro, solar, natural gas shales,“clean coal”, biomass and bio-fuels. This highly-interactive, fast-paced seminar mines the complex, controversial world of energy generation, delivery and private land conservation. Starting with an in-depth overview to establish common ground, the session will cover energy sources, extraction and delivery; the pros and cons; current and proposed energy policies and processes; tools to steward and defend conserved lands and draft easements; and proven tactics to engage your board, members, landowners and community. Transmission and natural gas lines will be dealt with explicitly. Case studies for large, small, successful and failed projects will be used extensively.

 

SEM-33: Extending Our Reach: Preserving More Land through Greener Zoning and Conservation Subdivisions

Randall Arendt, Ann Hutchinson
Sunday, October 3, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Intermediate  150/$180

This session informs participants how their land trusts can greatly extend their reach, preserving far more land than is possible relying upon traditional techniques alone, and how to do so in a virtually cost-free manner that avoids impacting landowner equity. This session includes three elements. The first uses slides illustrating numerous good examples from around the country. The second element involves a hands-on design exercise demonstrating how straight-forward this approach is. The third includes a detailed discussion explaining how existing plans and ordinances can be updated to include practical, effective language to implement this approach in their own communities. Participants will be encouraged to bring their existing regulations to the session, to be discussed, critiqued, and their questions answered.

Welcoming Dinner

Sunday, October 3, 7:00pm – 9:00pm | $55

Welcoming Remarks by Rep. Chris Murphy (CT-5), Co-chair of the House Land Conservation Caucus

We are honored that Connecticut Congressman Christopher Murphy has agreed to deliver welcoming remarks at our dinner on Sunday evening. A passionate advocate for land conservation, Rep. Murphy co-chairs the House Land Conservation Caucus and has taken the lead in organizing numerous congressional briefings and sign-on letters on issues of importance to the land trust community. He has also been a champion for the many land trusts of Connecticut’s 5th district, keeping them up to date on federal policy with conference calls and e-mail updates. Welcome Congressman!*

 

Monday, October 4

Workshops Session A – Monday 10:00am - Noon

A02. Natural, Historic & Saved:  Helping Communities Plan for Comprehensive Protection

CTCC – Room 15

Land trusts are reaping great rewards by guiding communities in the use of land use planning and zoning tools, an approach that also helps address more of the values that make places special, including natural, social, scenic, historic, and cultural elements. Leading on community planning will allow your organization to engage a broader audience, to protect places strategically, and to more directly influence the growth and development issues that affect resource conservation. Draw practical guidance and inspiration from the experiences of two land trusts that have made great strides and addressed places comprehensively through community planning.

  • Roberta Lane, Program Officer & Regional Attorney, National Trust for Historic Preservation (MA)
  • Julie Stokes, Board Chair, Saratoga P.L.A.N. (NY)
  • Jeffrey Marshall, Vice President of Resource Protection, Heritage Conservancy (PA)

 

A07. Land Use Planning for Land Conservation: Understanding Local Land Use Controls

CTCC – Room 13

In this workshop we will review the legal landscape that controls the land use policies that effect development and conservation. Included will be an overview of the comprehensive or master planning process and an overview of the local laws (zoning) and other regulatory programs that come out of the planning process. We will also cover the role of the municipal boards in land use decision-making and discuss opportunities for land trusts to participate in that process. As an example, we will review a conservation subdivision and discuss regulations that create conservation opportunities.

  • Lawrence Howard, Attorney, Shulman, Howard & McPherson, LLP (NY)
  • Christopher Miller, President, Piedmont Environmental Council (VA)

 

A08. Opportunities for Preserving Conservation Land and Working Forest Land through Carbon Offsets

CTCC – Room 26

U.S. Forests sequester 13 percent of our annual greenhouse gas emissions, and are a recognized tool to fight climate change. There are new and emerging opportunities for land trusts to receive revenue from forestland preservation or sustainable forest management that “offsets” global warming emissions. However, designing offset projects can be complex, particularly as the rules continue to evolve. This workshop will educate land trusts on how to take advantage of existing and emerging offset markets. Experts will share new policy developments, lessons from designing actual projects, and perspectives on how forest offsets are viewed in the carbon market.

  • Ellen Hawes, Forest Policy Analyst, Environment Northeast (ME)
  • Josh Parrish, Director of Conservation Finance, The Nature Conservancy of Pennsylvania (PA)
  • Gerrity Lansing, Equator, LLC (NY)

 

A09. Hot Climate, Cool Conservation: Emerging Roles for Land Trusts in Confronting Climate Change

CTCC – Room 16

As the natural systems and species we seek to protect adapt and migrate in response to climate change, conservationists need to adapt the way we think about and practice conservation. This workshop will examine what the science is telling us and explore, through extensive case studies, the many ways land trusts and allied organizations are developing new conservation strategies, taking action and preparing for the important role conservationists have to play going forward. We will also briefly review the policy situation in Washington and how the federal legislation, if passed, is likely to affect our work.

  • Andrew Pitz, VP Strategic Policy & Planning, Natural Lands Trust (PA)

 

A15. Do the Right Thing CLE

Marriott – Ballroom E

This workshop examines how easement holders are to “do the right thing” vis-à-vis Land Trust Standards and Practices, the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations, the Internal Revenue Service, enabling acts, and developing common law regarding conservation transactions.  Panelists will respond to hypothetical scenarios derived from real-life situations, and will offer opinions and guidance based on their experience with and knowledge of Land Trust Standard and Practices, the Code, the Regs, the IRS, and statutory and case-law. The discussion will challenge panelists and attendees to address issues involving perpetuity, conservation purposes, changed conditions, amendment, and termination in the evolving landscape of conservation easement transactions.

  • Jessica Jay, Conservation Attorney, Conservation Law, P.C. (CO)
  • Karin Gross, Attorney, General Counsel’s Office, Internal Revenue Service (DC)
  • Daniel Pike, President, Colorado Open Lands (CO)
  • Stephen Small, Attorney at Law, Law Office of Stephen J. Small, Esq., P.C. (MA)
  • Andrew Dana, Attorney at Law, Conservation Law Associates (MT)
  • Nancy McLaughlin, Professor of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law (UT)

 

A18. Lobbying: Lessons from the Trenches

CTCC – Room 11

Land trusts around the country are increasingly turning to government to help achieve their missions, and all land trusts benefit from tax exempt status and the deductibility of conservation donations that can’t be taken for granted.  Land trusts are engaged in raising public dollars for conservation and changing the way government programs work to ensure that the resources they care about are protected and managed for future generations.  This session will provide participants with perspectives from different sized land trusts active in local, state and federal advocacy around the country.  Panelists will discuss their experiences developing and implementing successful policy advocacy programs and campaigns and how to maximize relationships with elected officials, their staff and coalition partners.

  • Will Abbott, Vice President for Policy, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (NH)
  • Mike Beam, Executive Director, Ranchland Trust of Kansas (KS)
  • Andy Chmar, Executive Director, Hudson Highlands Land Trust (NY)
  • Andy Bicking, Director of Public Policy and Special Projects, Scenic Hudson, Inc. (NY)
  • Sean Robertson, Public Policy Specialist, Land Trust Alliance (DC)
  • Greg Yankee, Policy Director, Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts (CO)

 

A22. NOAA's Coastal & Estuarine Land Conservation Program

Marriott – Conference Room 5

NOAA’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) provides state and local governments, often working in partnership with land trusts, with matching funds to purchase coastal and estuarine lands (or easements) from willing sellers. In the first hour of this session, panelists will present “CELCP 101” — a general overview of the program, including requirements for participation and examples of successful projects, highlighting roles of land trusts in CELCP projects. In the second part of the session, “Advanced CELCP,” presenters will delve into the more technical and detailed aspects of the program, including: project “do’s” and “don’ts”, tips for submitting successful proposals, and other important program developments.

  • Carolie Evans (CT)
  • David Kozak, Senior Coastal Planner, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT)
  • Elaine Vaudreuil, CELCP Program Manager, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (MD)
  • Donna Wieting, Acting Director, OCRM, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (MD)

 

A23. What Can the Farm Bill Do for You?

CTCC – Room 12

The 2008 Farm Bill is the largest source of private lands conservation dollars in the country. The bill includes historic investments to help land trusts and landowners protect and restore natural resources, promote local and organic food systems and much more. Land trusts can, and should, be key partners in program implementation. In this workshop, experts will distill down the many, often overwhelming, program options and discuss those most relevant to land trusts. The focus will be on the conservation programs and organic, local and beginning farming initiatives. Significant time will be spent on providing tips on how you can guide program dollars to your natural resource priorities, including case studies of how land trusts have creatively leveraged Farm Bill programs. Participants will receive a newly released land trust guide to the Farm Bill conservation programs and there will be ample opportunity throughout the workshop for questions and discussion.

  • Kip Kolesinskas, State Soil Scientist CT-RI, U.S.D.A., Natural Resources Conservation Service (CT)
  • Judy Boshoven, Living Lands Program Director, Defenders of Wildlife (DC)
  • Aimee Weldon, Senior Director of Restoration and Lands, Potomac Conservancy (MD)

Workshops Session B – Monday 1:30pm - 3:30pm


B01. Climate Change Adaptation – Current Thinking, Approaches to Define and Address It

Marriott – Ballroom C

The goal of this workshop is to define and present the current thinking related to climate change adaptation and how this relates to conservation efforts and work. Climate change adaptation policy and planning includes efforts to help human and natural communities cope with and manage climate change impact. We will discuss current opportunities to fund climate change adaptation work and to forward public efforts to begin to address this issue. We will also provide examples and case studies to illustrate processes and current thinking on potential strategies as they relate to various habitat types.

  • Sarah Murdock, Senior Climate Policy Advisor, The Nature Conservancy (MA)
  • Adam Whelchel, Director of Conservation Science, The Nature Conservancy (CT)
  • Mark Anderson, Director of Conservation Science, Eastern US Region, The Nature Conservancy (MA)

B07. Winning Land Conservation Ballot Measures in a Down Economy

Science Center – Lab 2

Despite the worst economic conditions in years, two out of every three land conservation measures on the ballot in 2009 were approved by the voters. While this result demonstrates that voters still support land conservation, winning that support in a time of economic uncertainty and convincing elected officials to refer measures to ballot in a time of significantly constrained state and local budgets is increasingly difficult. Learn the tried and true techniques and some new tricks for succeeding in creating new public funding at the state and local level. This workshop features two case studies of recent ballot measures -- local, Madison, CT and state, New Jersey -- that highlight the keys to winning in this challenging environment.

  • William Abberger, Director, Conservation Vision Program, The Trust for Public Land (FL)
  • Kim Gilman, The Trust for Public Land, National Office (CA)
  • Tom Gilbert, Regional Conservation Services Director, The Trust for Public Land (PA)
  • Tara Tracy, Senior Planner, Brandywine Conservancy (PA)

B11. Orphan Easements: What Happens When Land Trusts Fail?

CTCC – Room 26

This session will be a panel discussion of land trust professionals and attorneys who have experience dealing with "orphan easements", which are conservation easements held by failed or failing land trusts that run the risk of being abandoned, and no longer actively monitored and enforced. Orphan easements pose significant policy issues for the land trust community, as well as difficult stewardship, financial and legal issues for individual land trust as potential recipients of "homes" for easements. This is a complex emerging issue that will only grow in importance as more land trust holders do not survive to monitor and enforce their conservation easements in perpetuity. This session will raise more questions than answers, but facilitate an important first step in the dialog about how to address orphan easements that the land trust community at all levels must begin to address.

  • Lawrence Kueter, Attorney, Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C. (CO)
  • Chris Jensen, Attorney, Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C. (CO)
  • Glenn Lamb, Executive Director, Columbia Land Trust (OR)
  • Peter McKeever, Attorney Garvey McNeil & Associates and Principal, The BAM Team, LLC., Bassler-Allen-McKeever Land Trust Services (WI)
  • Hans Neuhauser, Executive Director, Georgia Land Conservation Center (GA)
  • Dan Roix, Mid-River Conservation Lead, Columbia Land Trust (OR)

B17. Avoiding Difficult Conversations with Attorneys General: The Fundamentals of Charitable Gift Administration

CTCC – Room 22

This workshop will address the state laws that govern a nonprofit’s use of charitable gifts. The panelists will discuss (i) the common law rules that apply charitable gifts and (ii) how recently enacted statutes either adopt or modify the common law. Concepts will be illustrated through examples. Topics to be discussed include the role of state attorneys general, standing to sue, protection of charitable gifts in bankruptcy, and the draft Regulation of Charities project. This workshop will NOT address whether donated conservation easements constitute restricted gifts. It will focus on a charity’s rights and obligations with regard to charitable gifts in general, whether in the form of cash, land, or other property.

  • Nancy McLaughlin, Professor of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law (UT)
  • Bill Weeks, Attorney At Law, The Conservation Law Center (IN)
  • King Burnett, Attorney, Webb, Burnett, Jackson, Cornbrooks, Wilber, Vorhis & Douse (MD)
  • Stephen Swartz, General Counsel, The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust (DC)
  • Michael Dennis, Consultant (VA)

B18. Legal and Ethical Aspects of Managing a Land Trust CLE

CTCC – Room 24

This interactive workshop, in its 17th year, will cover the essentials of what every land trust manager, volunteer and staff member needs to know about complying with the public support test, identifying and dealing with unrelated business income tax, lobbying, political campaign activity and vexatious inurement and ethical issues, and handling other corporate management issues. Incorporation (including and selecting corporate alternatives (state and federal incorporation requirements). Recent changes in corporate accountability laws as these apply to land trusts will be covered as well.

  • Konrad Liegel, Attorney at Law, K&L Gates (WA)
  • Stefan Nagel, Attorney - Of Counsel, Law Office of Stephen J. Small, Esq., P.C. (MA)

B21. Public Policy 2010 Update and 2011 Review

CTCC – Room 11  | Monday, Oct 4, 1:30pm - 3:30pm

In this combined session, Land Trust Alliance’s director of public policy will discuss the current status of our 2010 public policy priorities and outline options for our work in 2011.  The latter part of this session is an open meeting of the Alliance's Policy Advisory Council, allowing Land Trust Alliance members an opportunity to discuss and provide input on the Alliance's public policy program, and what it should focus on in 2011.  The Policy Advisory Council, consisting of land trust leaders from across the country, is seeking your input before making formal recommendations to the Alliance board later this year.

Prior to attending, please read our policy options memo.  It would also be helpful if you could provide advance feedback online at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/AlliancePriorities responses submitted by September 28th will be compiled and shared with participants at Rally.

  • Russell Shay, Director of Public Policy, Land Trust Alliance (DC)

B25. Farm Conservation 2.0: Land Trust's Role in Crafting the Next Generation of Initiatives for Saving Working Farms

CTCC – Room 27

Since the first generation of farmland protection programs, several problems have surfaced: once farmland is protected, it does not remain “affordable” for farmers; it does not stay in production; farmers have difficulty building equity; conservation easements can prevent farmers from implementing best practices needed to maintain the economic viability of a farm. Land trusts that acquire farmland face significant stewardship costs. Many programs are developing a “second generation” of strategies for protecting farmland and farms. This workshop will review the issues that have surfaced with the first generation of farmland protection programs and will share models from second generation programs.

  • Rupert Friday, Director, Rhode Island Land Trust Council (RI)
  • Bob Bernstein, Co-director and Founder, Land for Good (MA)
  • George Mason, Chairman, Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust (RI)
  • Richard Hubbard, Executive Director, Franklin Land Trust (MA)
  • Stephen Searl, Project Manager, Peconic Land Trust (NY)

 

Workshop Session C – Monday 4:00pm - 5:30pm

C06. (Home) Land Protection: Partnering with the Department of Defense

Marriott – Conference Room 5

This session will showcase innovations developed by partners and military installations to leverage taxpayer dollars, accomplish multiple objectives, and achieve greater conservation and community benefit.  The Department of Defense has been working with land trusts and other non-federal agencies for five years to protect habitat, working lands and compatible land uses in the vicinity of military installations through the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI).  It will conclude with a group exercise to evaluate additional value to be realized in a potential project through alternative transaction structuring and conservation finance techniques.

  • Nancy Natoli, Readiness/ Environmental Protection Initiative Coordinator, Office of the Secretary of Defense (VA)
  • Virginia Busby, ACUB, US Army Environmental Center (MD)
  • Jim Omans, Head, Planning & Real Estate Section, Facilities and Service Division, Installations and Logistics Department, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps

C09. The Language of Nature’s Benefits: Communicating about “Ecosystem Services’”

CTCC – Room 17

While we might not think about it every day, we are all dependent on all of the services that nature provides for us. In order to protect waters and lands, conservationist needs to strategically communicate the benefits of nature to policy makers and the public and more importantly work to fundamentally create a paradigm shift as to how the public and policy makers view land and water protection vis-a vis development and natural resource use. This session will cover new national public opinion research designed to help us communicate about this important and complicated topic.

  • Hazel Wong, Senior Campaign Advisor, The Nature Conservancy, Western Regional Office (NV)
  • Martin Hamburger, President, The Hamburger Company (DC)
  • David Metz, Senior Vice President, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates (CA)

C13. You Can Appraise an Appraisal - and you “Oughter”! CLE

CTCC – Room 25

Land trust folks need to understand and evaluate appraisals of conservation easements. You can do this! This course will teach basic principles of appraising easements, pitfalls to avoid, and how an easement donor should contract with an appraiser. The special IRS requirements for easement appraisals will be reviewed, including changes in the Section 170 regulations for "qualified appraiser" and "qualified appraisal" (proposed regulations are on the table now). The ethical and legal issues relating to Form 8283, and recent Court cases regarding falsely claimed charitable donations will be covered as well. Different opinions about land trusts' obligations will be discussed.

  • Philip Hocker, Consultant, ConServCo/Conservation Service Co., LLC (VA)
  • Scott Robinson, Appraiser, MAI, SRA (NC)

C17. The Economic Benefits of Land Conservation: What a Difference a Number Makes

Marriott – Ballroom D

Is conservation a drain or a gain to the local economy? Land trusts need to effectively communicate the economic benefits and fiscal impacts of conservation to local government officials and the public, and this session will teach participants how using a recently released analysis on Long Island as a case study. We begin by having a foundation present its decision to sponsor the research. Followed by an overview of the categories of benefits and how we measured these values. Finally a local land trust will explain how it used the results of the study on the ground to support conservation.

  • Jessica Sargent-Michaud, Senior Research Associate, The Trust for Public Land (MA)
  • John McNally, Communications Director & Environmental Program Officer, Rauch Foundation (NY)
  • Lisa Ott, President, North Shore Land Alliance (NY)

Oops! Our 9/25/12 Advocates mistakenly linked to the 2010 version of this workshop. Click here to see the 2012 version.

C18. Working with the IRS

CTCC - Ballroom AB (please note, this location changed since the program went to print)

A panel discussion with IRS staff involved in managing conservation easement issues, moderated by Stephen J. Small.  Please send advance questions to: policy@lta.org.

  • Marc Caine, Attorney, Internal Revenue Service (NY)
  • Ron Cerruti, Engineering and Valuation Territory Manager, Internal Revenue Service (CA)
  • Karin Gross, Supervisory Attorney, Internal Revenue Service (DC)
  • Stephen Small, Attorney, Law Office of Stephen J. Small, Esq., P.C. (MA)

C21. Land Protection in the New Context of Statewide Assessments and Resource Strategies

Science Center – Lab 1

State forestry agencies were required to complete Statewide Forest Resource Assessments and Strategies by June 2010 to remain eligible for funding under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act. This requirement arose from the Forestry Title of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 - the Farm Bill. This session will describe the planning process, summarize the results, share examples of completed assessments and strategies, and discuss next steps for using these documents for managing across forested landscapes. Assessments and Strategies will be a part of landscape scale conservation in the years to come, in concert with State Wildlife Action Plans and other large scale analyses. Attendees will gain an understanding of how their land protection objectives can benefit from the results of the State Assessments and Strategies.

  • Paula Randler, Program Specialist, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service (DC)
  • Karl Dalla Rosa, Forest Stewardship Program Manager, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service (MD)

C23. America’s Great Outdoors Discussion

Cancelled due to scheduling conflicts -- please consider attending D19 instead.

 

Tuesday, October 5

Closing Plenary Session – 9:00am - 10:00am

Keynote: Thomas Strickland, Assistant Secretary of Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks

Thomas Strickland was confirmed Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks on April 30, 2009. President Obama nominated him for the position on March 12, 2009. In this capacity he oversees and coordinates policy decisions for the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition he serves concurrently as chief of staff to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

Before joining Interior, Strickland was executive vice president and chief legal officer of UnitedHealth Group. Before that he was a partner of the Hogan & Hartson law firm, serving as Managing Partner for the firm’s Colorado offices. He was also a member of Hogan & Hartson’s executive committee. At Hogan & Hartson, Strickland represented clients on a wide range of litigation, business and regulatory matters. Before joining Hogan & Hartson, Strickland served as United States Attorney for the District of Colorado from 1999 through 2001. Prior to his appointment as the top Justice Department official for Colorado, he spent 15 years with another law firm where he was a senior partner in charge of the regulatory, administrative, and public law practice. In 1996 and 2002, he was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in Colorado.

From 1982 to 1984 he served as the chief policy advisor for Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm, advising the governor on all policy and intergovernmental issues, and from 1985 to 1989, he served on, and chaired, the Colorado Transportation Commission. Strickland also served as legal counsel to the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and was a founder and board member of Great Outdoors Colorado, the lottery-funded program which has invested over $600 million into parks, wildlife and open space programs in Colorado.

Workshops Session D – Tuesday 10:30am - Noon

 

D10. Responding to Condemnation for Conservation Lands CLE

Marriott – Ballroom C

Protected lands and conservation easements can be condemned, and these properties are increasingly being proposed for condemnation to make way for roads, water projects and alternative energy. What are the steps to take to defend land or easements when condemnation comes calling?

  • Darla Guenzler, Executive Director, California Council of Land Trusts (CA)
  • Harry Pollack, President, Conservation Partners (CA)

D18. Higher Power: Utility Transmission Infrastructure and Private Land Conservation

CTCC – Room 13

Why are conservation lands targets for energy infrastructure? This workshop examines the complex, controversial world of energy transmission, infrastructure and private land conservation. This interactive session will help land trusts examine three key questions: Is new energy infrastructure worth the toll on the lands we are working to protect? Would other energy strategies with less impact on the land work just as well – or better? When conservation lands are impacted, how do we mitigate losses of conservation values in which the public has invested?

  • Christopher Miller, President, Piedmont Environmental Council (VA)

D19. Dedicated Funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund, Federal    Conservation Initiatives, and America's Great Outdoors

CTCC – Room 24

This session will examine recent developments in Congress and the Administration to achieve full and dedicated funding of the LWCF program, explore the connection to the America's Great Outdoors initiative, and make the case for land trust community engagement in the LWCF campaign. Panelists will explore three diverse case studies utilizing LWCF and complementary funding to advance large landscape conservation: the protection of 12,500 acres at Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge in New Hampshire; large-scale land protection along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia; and, ongoing conservation in the Central/North Cascades of Washington State through the collaboration of land trusts, conservation organizations, and local, state, federal, and tribal governments.

  • Maddy Pope, Director of National Outreach, Federal Affairs, The Trust for Public Land (MT)
  • JT Horne, The Trust for Public Land, New York Regional Office (NY)
  • Peter Dykstra, Pacific Northwest Regional Director, Wilderness Society (WA)
  • Reid Wilson, Executive Director, Conservation Trust for North Carolina (NC)
  • Lesley Kane-Szynal, Director, Outdoors America (DC)

D22. In-Lieu Fee Compensatory Wetland Mitigation

Science Center – Lab 1

Impacts to most wetlands are regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) under the Clean Water Act, and the Corps typically requires mitigation for permanent wetland impacts. As nonprofit supporters of wetland conservation and protection, land trusts often manage or hold wetlands that are created, preserved or enhanced as part of a compensatory wetland mitigation project. The Corps recently changed its rules for compensatory mitigation. These new rules provide an opportunity for nonprofit entities, like land trusts, to more actively establish and/or manage compensatory wetland mitigation sites. The rule indicates that the Corps now prefers the use of in-lieu fee (ILF) programs over permittee-responsible mitigation. Although many land trusts operated ILF programs prior to the rule, the rule significantly changed the ILF regulations such that existing programs could no longer be used. This workshop will focus on the new regulations governing ILF compensatory wetland programs. These regulations require would-be ILF programs to develop an ILF program instrument, which is a legal document for the establishment, operation, and use of an ILF program. Approval of the ILF program instrument involves nearly eight months of review by an Interagency Review Team of representatives from federal, state, tribal, and/or local resource agencies. The review period also involves two rounds of public vetting. Once approved, mitigation projects undertaken by the ILF program must be approved by the Interagency Review Team, which also involves public review.

  • Nicholas Basile, Environmental Scientist, The Chazen Companies (NY)
  • Barbara Beall, Director of Ecological and Wetland Services, The Chazen Companies (NY)

 

Workshops Session E – Tuesday 1:30pm -3:00pm

E06. North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grants – The Inside Scoop

CTCC – Room 17

Over the past 20 years the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) program, a part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has provided grant funding to a variety of organizations including over 200 land trusts. NAWCA provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands and associated uplands conservation projects in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands–associated migratory birds and other wildlife. This session will provide current and prospective grantees’ insight into the latest updates to the NAWCA program, a new user friendly book aimed at assisting grantees during the administration phase of their project, and describes pitfalls grantees have experienced.

  • Christina Ryder, Grant Administrator, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior (VA)
  • Lacy Alison, Grant Administrator , US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior (VA)
  • John Beall, Government Affairs Representative, Pheasants Forever (OH)
  • David Buie, Proposal Coordinator, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior (VA)
  • Cheryl Leonard, Grants Analyst , US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior (VA)
  • Anna-Marie York, Grant Administrator - NAWCA Program, US Fish & Wildlife Service (VA)

E10. Balancing Wind Power Development with Land Conservation

CTCC – Room 27

Public policies promote both renewable energy and the protection of high value natural resources, often within the same landscape. This session describes the importance of identifying and mapping wind and high value resources in order to balance conservation and wind power development. Two GIS-based studies, in Maine and Western Massachusetts, provide examples of how to proactively plan at the regional, landscape scale. A series of conservation projects illustrate how siting conflicts can be resolved. The session includes an interactive discussion with participants who have experienced conflicts or collaboration with wind power development in their region.

  • David Publicover, Senior Staff Scientist, Appalachian Mountain Club (MA)
  • Cameron Weimar, University of Michigan (MI)
  • Taber Allison, Vice President, Conservation Science, Massachusetts Audubon Society (MA)

 

E15. The Army Compatible Use Buffer Program: Opportunities for Conservation Partnerships Nationwide

Science Center – Lab 1

The U. S. Army manages over 15.2 million acres in the United States. The boundaries of these installations suffer from constantly increasing encroachment pressures. Ever-expanding requirements for military training conflict with development outside the fenceline. The Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program was established to partner with external groups and willing landowners to buffer military testing and training activities from incompatible uses. Since its inception, these partnerships have developed to protect conservation easements, farmlands, hunting preserves, and other non-consumptive uses. This session endeavors to train those outside the Army community in effectively using the ACUB program to further conservation goals.

  • Malcolm Boswell, Senior Land Management Consultant, U. S. Army Installation Management Command (VA)
  • Virginia Busby, U. S. Army Environmental Command, ACUB Program Manager, Aberdeen Proving Ground (MD)

 

E16. IRS Audits of Conservation Easements

Marriott – Ballroom E

The panel members on this annual workshop will present an update on the Internal Revenue Service audits of conservation easements. Colorado lawyers Bill Silberstein and Larry Harvey have represented over 40 landowners in audits, in the Appeals Division of the IRS, in Tax Court, and in Federal District Court in several states. Alabama lawyers David Wooldridge and Ronald Levitt planned and successfully defended the Kiva Dunes conservation easement in Tax Court. Whit Field, Vice President and General Counsel of the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, will offer his perspective on assisting landowners under audit.

  • William Silberstein, Attorney at Law, Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C. (CO)
  • Larry Harvey, Attorney (CO)
  • Whit Field, Vice President and General Counsel, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (VA)
  • David Wooldridge, Attorney, Sirote & Permutt, Inc. (AL)
  • Ronald Levitt, Attorney, Sirote & Permutt, Inc. (AL)

E18. Gas Drilling on Steroids: Coming to Conserved Land in 29 States

CTCC – Room 13

New developments in horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing make it possible to extract natural gas from shale deposits where it was never thought practical. This means land trusts in at least 29 states (http://bit.ly/gasmap) may soon need to know about the implications of split estate for their preserves and older easements (and landowners) that didn’t anticipate that new drilling technologies would become profitable. Learn more about the impacts of unconventional drilling methods and the policy campaigns to avoid or mitigate these impacts. Land trust policy and field staff, as well as legal counsel will present their experiences and perspectives, then attendees will join in a robust discussion of the issues and appropriate land trust responses and policies.

  • Andy Loza, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association (PA)
  • Martha Cochran, Executive Director, Aspen Valley Land Trust (CO)
  • Steve Schiffman, Attorney, Serratelli, Schiffman, Brown & Calhoun, PC (PA)

 

E19. Improving the Statutory and Regulatory Framework for Conservation CLE

CTCC – Room 25

This session will begin with a brief review of the history of federal tax incentives for land conservation, with attention to the merits and deficiencies of the present statutes. We shall then consider possible statutory and/or regulatory improvements to address constraints on donations not justified by demonstrable policy objectives, such as the establishment of alternative energy systems as a stated conservation purpose, limitations on deductions of "dealer" properties, certain corporate transactions, and the difficulty of pursuing trust-held target properties. Time permitting, we shall also discuss the IRS's puzzling reluctance to address the federal income tax treatment of state-awarded tax credits.

  • William Hutton, Attorney at Law/Professor, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP (CA)
  • Ellen Fred, Attorney, Law Office of Ellen A. Fred (MI)

 

E21. Smart Growth and Land Trusts: Principles to Guide Land Acquisition in Coastal Areas

Marriot – Capital Rm 1

Elements of coastal smart growth include the protection of open space and critical environmental areas to enhance the economic, environmental and social welfare of communities. Natural areas provide a wide array of ecosystem services with which we are all familiar—in recent years, conservation communities have also recognized that these areas can play key roles in protecting communities and resources from climate change impacts. In this session we will present coastal smart growth and green infrastructure strategies that land trusts can utilize in targeting the properties that best enhance resilience of coastal ecosystems and communities.

  • Elaine Vaudreuil, CELCP Program Manager, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (MD)
  • Ole Amundsen, Strategic Conservation Program Planning Manager, The Conservation Fund (NY)
  • Kate Barba, National Policy and Evaluation Division Chief, OCRM, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (MD)
  • Rebekah Howey, Land Trust Assistance Coordinator, Maryland Environmental Trust (MD)
  • Skip Swenson, Managing Director of Policy, Cascade Land Conservancy (WA)
  • Donna Wieting, Interim Director, OCRM, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (MD)

 

Featured Sessions – Tuesday 3:30pm - 5:00pm

 

Coastal Climate Change: Resources for Land Trusts

CTCC – Room 23

For coastal land trusts, climate change presents a new set of issues that challenge traditional assumptions and practices.    Can Green Infrastructure approaches be applied by land trusts to incorporate climate adaptation into conservation planning?  This session, convened by the Land Trust Alliance’s Coastal Conservation Networking collaborative of USFWS, NOAA, EPA, and TNC, will discuss resources available to land trusts for incorporating climate change into conservation priorities, including case studies in which land trusts are developing climate sensitive and adaptive conservation priorities.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss and provide input on the types of resources they need to address climate change.

Also scroll up for Workshop E21, offered by the same Collaborative.

  • Rob Aldrich, Director of Communications, Land Trust Alliance (DC)
  • Nancy Cofer-Shabica, Physical Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (SC)
  • Richard Kuyper, Biologist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (DC)
  • Maria Whitehead, Project Director, The Nature Conservancy (SC)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resources Challenges for the 21st Century

CTCC – Room 24

During this session, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide an overview of it’s perspective on key water resources challenges that will need to be addressed this century as well as key factors to be considered.

  • Theodore Brown, Chief of Planning and Policy, US Army Corps of Engineers (DC)

U.S. Forest Service Discussion

CTCC – Room 12

Join Forest Service leadership for a roundtable discussion about the Forest Service's work in land protection and open space conservation for private and public forest lands. We will discuss National Forest acquisitions as well as urban and rural forest conservation and stewardship efforts, including the Forest Legacy & Forest Stewardship programs.

  • Nancy Parachini, Forest Legacy Program Specialist, USDA Forest Service (DC)
  • Paula Randler, Program Specialist, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service (DC)

How to Access Farm Bill Programs

CTCC – Room 13

Speak with USDA leaders regarding Farmland Protection Program and Grassland Reserve Program policy and implementation and a brief overview of the final rules for these programs.

  • Mark Rose, Program Manager Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service (DC)
  • Elizabeth Crane, GRP Manager, U.S. D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service (DC)

Landscape Conservation with the Bureau of Land Management

CTCC – Room 11

Meet the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headquarters and field office staff who are advancing on-the-ground collaborations with land trusts and learn about the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS), which contains some of the West’s most spectacular landscapes.  The units of the NLCS include over 886 federally recognized areas and approximately 27 million acres of National Conservation Areas, National Monuments, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Special Recreation Management Areas and Conservation Lands of the California Desert.  A case study of conservation efforts in southeastern Idaho’s Upper and South Fork of the Snake River Area of Critical Environmental Concern and Special Recreation Management Area is to be highlighted.

  • David Beaver, Senior Realty Specialist, National Program Lead for Land and Water Conservation Fund and Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act, Bureau of Land Management (DC)
  • Joe Ashor, Senior Wild and Scenic River Specialist, Office of National Landscape Conservation System, Bureau of Land Management (DC)
  • Richard Todd, Realty Specialist, Sales and Acquisitions, Bureau of Land Management (OR)

 

* The Land Trust Alliance is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse the political views of Rally speakers.

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November 6: With only eight weeks remaining before Congress adjourns (of which Congress will be in Washington for only four), there is limited time to act. Ask your senators to urge their party’s leadership to include the charitable package in any year-end tax legislation. We’ve been meeting with Senate offices and have been encouraged by their willingness to consider making some tax extenders permanent. This puts us in a good position, but we need you to reinforce that special places are being lost because the incentive has expired. Learn more »

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