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Visit Reps. Over Recess, New Letters, Climate Funding

Advocates Alert: May 21, 2009

See Your Rep. Next Week, Schedule for Independence Day

Next week is the Memorial Day recess and your Representative will spend it in the district meeting with constituents like you! It’s probably too late to schedule an event of your own but, it’s almost certain your Representative will be hosting several public events such as town hall meetings and pancake breakfasts. These are great opportunities to meet your Representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor H.R. 1831, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. Simply visit your Rep.’s page at www.house.gov, call your nearest district office, and ask about events you could attend.

Want your Rep.’s undivided attention?  The Independence Day recess is right around the corner (June 29-July 3) and now is the time to schedule an in-district meeting or site visit. The single best way to develop lasting relationships with your Members of Congress is to invite them out into the field to see the special places you’re conserving and meet landowners benefiting from the easement incentive. Visit our site visits webpage for step-by-step advice, a sample meeting request, media templates and a photo gallery of successful events.

Horse and Sportsmen’s Organizations Send Letters to Key Caucuses

More than half of all Members of Congress are members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.  Yesterday the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation sent each of them a letter signed by 39 hunting and fishing organizations, urging them to co-sponsor H.R. 1831 or S. 812.  The easement incentive will also be featured at a caucus breakfast in July.

Not to be outdone, the Equestrian land Conservation Resource spearheaded a letter of support signed by 41 horse organizations!  It was sent to the Congressional Horse Caucus, which includes many of our most important Congressional targets.

Please consider sending your Representative a copy of one of these letters (or others from our website), with a brief note indicating why the easement incentive is important to you!  Have ideas about how to reach another congressional caucus? Please email policy@lta.org.

House Climate Change Legislation Would Fund Conservation

Tonight the House Energy & Commerce Committee will vote on climate change legislation that would dedicate substantial funding to natural resources adaptation, including funds for state and federal resource agencies and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  The funding will start small—just 1% of all allowances, but will ramp up to 4% by 2027, providing several billion dollars for conservation each year.

This victory almost didn’t happen!  Late last week, it appeared likely these funds would be stripped from the bill entirely, but a coalition effort, led by National Wildlife Federation, marshaled support from key Congressional champions to ensure that at least some natural resource adaptation funding was preserved.  Click here for an analysis of the bill from NWF.

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Advocates Alerts

July 10: House Vote on Conservation Tax Incentive Coming Soon

The House of Representatives will vote on the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, perhaps as early as next week. Whether you use this incentive or not, this is an unprecedented opportunity for the entire House of Representatives to vote specifically on whether or not to help land trusts. Every vote will count, and we urge you to call your congressional office and ask your representative to support H.R. 2807 when it comes to the floor – and to get as many others as possible in your land trust and its local partners to do the same.
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