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Brochures In-Stock, Our Success in 2008

Advocates Alert: December 5, 2008

The Land Trust Alliance and its partners in Washington are working hard to lay the groundwork for a permanent easement incentive in 2009. And we already have a good start!  The "Sportsmen for Obama" page on the President-Elect's campaign website states that "Obama will also extend federal tax incentives for landowners that place conservation easements on their land to conserve open space and protect water quality."

Soon we'll be asking for your help to win the 111th Congress' support for your conservation work, but first we want to reflect on some of the success we had in 2008. Together, we accomplished a great deal, including a 2-year extension of the enhanced tax incentive for donations of conservation easements and more than $1 billion in new funding for easement programs in the 2008 Farm Bill.  Thanks to you, these legislative successes are being translated into real conservation success on the ground.

Spread the Word to Landowners with New Tax Incentive Brochures

Data we gathered this year indicates that land trusts protected at least 500,000 more acres with conservation easements in 2006-2007 (with the enhanced incentive) than they did in the prior two years. Spreading the word to landowners will be key to sustaining this remarkable success.

In July, we released an updated brochure for landowners on "Using the Conservation Tax Incentive," but it sold out in just two months. Today we're excited to announce that another 10,000 copies are now in stock and available for sale on our publications page. Packets of 20 brochures cost $2 each plus shipping. The brochure includes a brief introduction to the incentive and answers to frequently asked questions for landowners considering a conservation easement. Click here for a .pdf copy.

New Gallery of Successful Events with Members of Congress

This summer and fall, land trusts across the country hosted events to thank their Members of Congress for their help extending the enhanced tax incentive for landowners who donate conservation easements. Please click here to see a dozen success stories from these events. Many of these stories include photos and press clippings--all key ingredients for a lasting relationship between a land trust and its legislators. Please send your success stories to policy@lta.org.

Your Congressional delegation will be at home over the holidays and it's a great time to invite them out to see some protected land.  Get creative with a visit to a Christmas tree farm under easement or a sleigh ride through a conserved forest tract. Click here for a step-by-step guide and templates for hosting such an event.

Civil War Battlefields Capture the Washington Region's Imagination

It's hard to overstate the importance of good press and a compelling story line in promoting your conservation work. In recent weeks Civil War Preservation Trust and Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation have achieved just that with a series of compelling features in the Washington Post that chronicle the fight to protect civil war battlefields around Washington, DC from suburban sprawl.

Members of Congress read their local papers every day, so relationships with reporters are every bit as important as relationships with Congress itself.  When you do get good press like this, don't miss the chance to send your Representative a copy, with a note thanking them for the easement incentive and other help they've given you.

Thank you for everything you did to make 2008 a banner year!

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Advocates Alerts

November 6: With only eight weeks remaining before Congress adjourns (of which Congress will be in Washington for only four), there is limited time to act. Ask your senators to urge their party’s leadership to include the charitable package in any year-end tax legislation. We’ve been meeting with Senate offices and have been encouraged by their willingness to consider making some tax extenders permanent. This puts us in a good position, but we need you to reinforce that special places are being lost because the incentive has expired. Learn more »

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