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America's Great Outdoors -- We Need Your Votes -- TODAY!

Advocates Alert: September 3, 2010

After months of listening sessions and online feedback, administration officials will soon begin drafting their recommendations to the President on America’s Great Outdoors.  They will continue taking comments into the fall, but if you have formal comments, innovative ideas, or helpful examples, we urge you to email them to: ago@ios.doi.gov as soon as possible, to have the greatest impact.

This is also great timing to get your members and supporters involved in voting for land trust ideas on the IdeaJam site. We’ve included the full text of our August 10 alert below, making it easy for you to replace this intro with your own and forward it on to members, easement donors, partners, friends and any other email lists you have access to.  The key link to emphasize is: http://tinyurl.com/landtrustideas or see our August 24th alert for suggested posts on Facebook and Twitter.  Later votes still count, so please proceed with any plans to mention AGO in upcoming member communications, but any comments you can help generate over the next few days will be particularly helpful!


America's Great Outdoors -- We Need Your Votes!

Advocates Alert, August 10, 2010

Over the past few months we've been telling you a great deal about the America's Great Outdoors Initiative--a golden opportunity to place private lands conservation and land trusts at the center of the Federal government's vision for the future of conservation.  Land trusts have responded in a big way, with hundreds turning out at listening sessions around the country, but we're falling behind in the online conversation and need your help to turn things around!

On the AGO "IdeaJam" website, you can vote for your favorite ideas.  And your vote is needed! For example, "Making the Enhanced Easement Incentive Permanent" has fallen from 1st place in votes to 250th place!  Large membership organizations advocating things like OHV access, wilderness designations, and national park staffing now dominate the IdeaJam conversation.  There aren't very many Land Trust ADVOCATES subscribers, but collectively land trusts have millions of individual supporters, easement donors and community partners. To get private lands conservation back in the picture, we need your help forwarding this alert and urging your members and supporters to vote!

Land trusts have already posted more than a dozen ideas on the IdeaJam--exactly the kinds of real world examples and collaborative strategies the administration is looking for.  We urge you to vote to "promote" each of these ideas and click their titles to comment--adding your own suggestions, examples and words of support:

CLICK HERE TO VOTE AND COMMENT ON LAND TRUST IDEAS

We also encourage you to post your own ideas and local examples and use them to get your supporters excited about participating.  Add "land trusts" to your list of tags, when posting a new idea, editing one already online, or re-posting an archived idea, so it will appear when people click on the above link.

You can also e-mail more substantive comments, examples and ideas to: ago@ios.doi.gov.

Spread the word! Whether it's a forward to a dozen board members, a post for your Facebook friends, or an email to everyone who gets your land trust's newsletter, no list is too big or too small.  Please just add a personal appeal and forward this email or promote this link today: http://tinyurl.com/landtrustideas.  You can also visit www.lta.org/greatoutdoors for other ways to get involved.

Several of the federal officials coordinating the America's Great Outdoors initiative know land trusts well and are predisposed to adapt federal policies to better support our work--but they can't help us if we don't show up!  Let's make the most of this unique opportunity!

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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