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Your Calls Today Can Help Save LWCF

Advocates Alert: July 25, 2011

UPDATE: Congratulations, We Won!

Thanks to your hard work, the Bass Amendment to restore some LWCF funding was agreed to by a voice vote! Moments later, the Broun Amendment to eliminate LWCF funding (actually offered by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and thus noted as the "Lamborn Amendment") was defeated by a voice vote. Restoring $20 million may not seem significant in the context of a $235 million cut, but this unexpected victory is a big symbolic show of confidence heading into negotiations with the Senate. Please thank your Reps. for their support and urge them to remain vigilant against other amendments to cut conservation funding.


 

UPDATE: Please also urge your Rep to vote NO on the "Broun Amendment," which would eliminate all remaining funding for LWCF. This is a vote we can win! A similar amendment to H.R. 1 in February was defeated by a margin of 213 to 216 and on Monday night, the "Huelskamp amendment" to eliminate an additional $3 billion from the bill, including all LWCF funding was defeated by a margin of 126 to 284.

Last week we told you about severe cuts to conservation in the Interior Appropriations Bill and asked that supportive Reps. highlight these cuts in their floor remarks. It turns out they'll actually have a chance to improve the bill -- and we need your help spreading the word Today!

Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) plans to offer an amendment to restore $20 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), including $7 million for the Forest Legacy Program. Without this amendment, the $65.8 million provided by the bill will barely cover administrative costs, essentially eliminating funding for new LWCF, Forest Legacy and Section 6 projects. These cuts would also eliminate any breathing room to experiment with ideas such as broadening LWCF to include the acquisition of conservation easements by qualified third parties.

Debate on the bill is already underway, so please call your Rep. Today:

  1. Reach your Rep. via the capitol switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask to speak with the staff member who handles interior appropriations.
  2. Introduce yourself, your organization and any LWCF projects you've been involved in.
  3. Ask for them to vote YES on the "Bass Amendment" and any others that would restore funding for conservation programs.
  4. Urge them to watch for and oppose any amendments to further cut conservation programs and to highlight the impact of these cuts in their floor remarks. (Update: We've heard there will be an amendment to eliminate all remaining funding from Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) and need your help to oppose it.)

For full details on these cuts, please see last Wednesday's alert.

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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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