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Land Trust Farm Bill Proposals, Share Your Success Stories

Advocates Alert: August 16, 2011

As a Land Trust Advocate, we wanted you to be among the first to hear about our plans for the next Farm Bill. We hope you'll join us in promoting the six big ideas discussed in Land Trust Proposals for the 2012 Farm Bill, developed with input from nearly 100 land trusts.  We value all the thoughtful feedback received from our members and partners over the past year, and believe this document represents the highest priority issues on which there was consensus. Please keep in mind this will be a living document, leaving flexibility to deal with a fast-changing world.

In the 2008 Farm Bill, your advocacy helped us nearly double the funding for easement programs to more than a billion dollars! The 2012 Farm Bill, however, will be considered in a time of unprecedented fiscal constraints and your advocacy will be needed to keep conservation funding coming in the future.

You can start by sending us your success stories from the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program or Grassland Reserve Program -- particularly any examples of economic benefits and job creation in the surrounding communities. We love sharing the example of Shoreline Fruit, LLC, which cited the prevalence of permanently protected cherry orchards as a major factor its decision to expand a processing facility in northern Michigan. We need more stories like this one -- send yours to lsherrod@lta.org.  Help us share your conservation successes with Congress so they can better understand the lasting significance that these federal sources of funding embody.

You can also help by reaching out to and telling us about your relationships with members of the House and Senate agriculture committees. If a committee member represents your service area, we hope you'll consider inviting them to visit the places you're working to conserve. We've created a guide to hosting site visits and we're always willing to discuss strategy.  Please don't hesitate to contact Lynne Sherrod (lsherrod@lta.org, 970-487-9924) with any questions, observations or comments that you might have regarding the 2012 Farm Bill.

If you rely on farm bill programs or would like to learn more, we hope you'll join our new email list for Alliance-member land trusts interested in farm bill issues. Simply reply to lsherrod@lta.org and ask to be added.

For the latest information on Farm Bill conservation programs, please visit: www.lta.org/policy/farm-bill.

Thanks for helping.

 

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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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