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Final Push before Recess, then Get Out and See Your Rep.

Advocates Alert: July 23, 2009

NOTE: This Alert was originally sent with state-by-state Congressional Directory information. We can't post the entire country here, but you can request your state directory by emailing policy@lta.org. Thanks.

Follow-up with Your Rep. before Recess! Don't Put this Off for 5 Weeks…

Now is no time to be complacent about saving the tax incentive for conservation easements!  There's just one week left before the House departs for a 5-week August recess and our goal of securing 218 co-sponsors for the Conservation Easement Incentive Act (H.R. 1831) by Rally, will be much harder if we're still working on Reps. who are already supportive in September.  Seven new co-sponsors this week bring our total to 162.

Even if your Representative personally committed to co-sponsor, or if he or she co-sponsored last year, or if you got a positive reception from staff--we still can't count them until they show up on the co-sponsor list.

We need YOU to follow-up on previous letters or calls to your Rep. with a personal call or email today. Find your Rep's tax staff contact in the directory below and email them to make sure your Rep. gets added to the list:

  1. First, indicate if you're following-up on a previous letter or personal contact
  2. If necessary, introduce yourself and your organization.
  3. Indicate how the easement incentive has supported your work and your concern about losing it
  4. Urge him or her to co-sponsor the Conservation Easement Incentive Act by contacting Jonathan Birdsong in the office of Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) or Wyatt Stewart in the office of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA).
  5. Attach any prior correspondence, our fact sheet, and/or a coalition letter.


Get Out and See Your Representative Over Recess

The directory below also includes information on your Rep's "Scheduler."  They're your point of contact for scheduling a site visit over the August recess (or if necessary can direct you to the right person in the district).  There may still be time to invite your Rep. to see one of your conserved properties, so please check out our site visit guide and templates today.

At this late date, you may be told that August is already booked, but that's no reason to give up!  Your Representative will likely be hosting a half dozen public events like town hall meetings, pancake breakfasts and picnics where you can simply show up, introduce yourself and ask for their support.  Ask your Rep.'s scheduler or call your nearest district office to find out what public events are on their schedule.


Directory of Your Congressional Delegation

The staff emails below are valuable assets that are not widely available.  Please introduce yourself first and use these contacts judiciously.  We’ve already explained the tax staff and scheduler contacts; "Environment Staff" is probably the best contact for most of your other work—develop a relationship and CC them when emailing others.

At the bottom of each entry we've indicated if they co-sponsored a tax incentive bill last year and if they're yet a co-sponsor of H.R. 1831 or S. 812.  If so, please thank them!  Check out our dozen ways to say thank you and invite them to join the Land Conservation Caucus (note that there is not yet a Senate caucus).

NOTE: This Alert was originally sent with state-by-state Congressional Directory information. We can't post the entire country here, but you can request your state directory by emailing policy@lta.org.

Thanks for helping!

Important Reminder

If you receive a donation of land or a conservation easement, you must send a letter to the donor acknowledging the gift – or you put them at risk of an IRS audit! Click here for more on substantiation letters.


New Co-sponsors of H.R. 1831:

  • Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX/20th)
  • Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL/10th)
  • Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY/29th)
  • Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX/22nd)
  • Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX/23rd)
  • Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY/5th)
  • Rep. Iliana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL/18th)

New Co-sponsors of S. 812

  • Senator John Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

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