New S. 812 Contact, Forest Bonds, CELCP Re-opened, Great Outdoors America
We hope you're having a relaxing end to the summer, but many Members of Congress are finding themselves on the hot seat, facing angry crowds at town hall meetings and other events. Now more than ever, they'll be grateful to any organization willing to provide a public thank you. Whether you present an award for , or pick a different idea from our dozen ways to say thank you, a display of gratitude this summer will surely pay dividends down the road.
If you've recently had a successful interaction with your Representative, please share the idea by emailing email@example.com.
New Staff Contact for Easement Incentive Co-sponsors in the Senate
Tiffany Smith is our new contact at the Senate Finance Committee for Senators who wish to co-sponsor S. 812, the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act. Please ensure that your fact sheets and other materials are updated with the following instructions: "Senators interested in co-sponsoring S. 812 should contact Tiffany Smith at the Senate Finance Committee (4-4515)." Or you can simply to download our most current fact sheets.
Community Forestry Conservation Act Would Create an Innovative Conservation Tool
The Land Trust Alliance is eager to support legislation that would allow the creation of "Community Forestry Bonds." Under this proposal, Congress would allow land trusts to finance the purchase of working forests with bonds designed to be repaid with revenues from sustainable timber harvest. This new tool will provide a mechanism for acquisition of lands that are at a high risk of conversion.
In July, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced S. 1501 and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Dave Reichert (R-WA) introduced H.R. 3302. Cascade Land Conservancy and U.S. Forest Capital are spearheading a coalition of conservation organizations, timber companies and business leaders working to advance these bills. .
Competition for Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Funding Re-opened
The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) provides state and local governments matching funds to purchase significant coastal and estuarine lands, or conservation easements on such lands, from willing sellers. While land trusts can't apply directly, it's possible to work in partnership with local governments. A donation to a land trust can serve as the non-federal match or agencies can use CELCP funds to acquire land from a land trust.
The original application period for fiscal year 2010 projects closed back in March, but changes enacted earlier this year forced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to re-open the process. This is both a second chance to apply for the CELCP program and an important notice for current applicants who may need to modify their applications in light of new rules. The new deadline is September 18, 2009. Click here to read more.
Great Outdoors America Report Calls for Increased Conservation Funding
Healthy, productive land and water resources, wildlife habitat, parks and open space are fundamental to the American way of life and our future prosperity, according to a new report by the Outdoor Resources Review Group. "Great Outdoors America" reviews how Americans engage with and value the nation's landscapes and outdoor recreation assets, and calls for a comprehensive overhaul of programs and policies to safeguard these resources for future generations. One key proposal is the development of an independent conservation trust, with dedicated and sustained funding reaching $5 billion annually. Click here to read more.
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.
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