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$2.8 Billion for Land Conservation? Act Now

Advocates Alert: May 30, 2012

The Senate's versions of the Farm Bill and the Transportation Bill each contain about $1.4 billion for land conservation! But all that funding is at risk in negotiations with the House.  Even if your land trust hasn't yet accessed these programs, you can help preserve conservation funding nationwide by signing-on to two letters.

Letter #1: Support Farm Bill Conservation Programs

UPDATE: This letter is now final. Click here for a copy and share it with your Congressional delegation.

The Senate Agriculture Committee recently passed a new Farm Bill that provides $1.38 billion over 10 years for the easement programs that land trusts use most. Soon the House will draft its version of the bill, constrained by a budget that requires its Agriculture Committee to come up with additional cuts. One minute of your time now could help keep the largest source of federal funding for land trusts off the chopping block!

To read the letter and sign-on, simply visit http://goo.gl/SyDIi by Friday June 8. Monday, June 11.

In addition to the letter, we're coordinating direct outreach to members of the House Agriculture Committee. If you have a relationship with one of these representatives or their staff, please let us know -- we'll get you connected with the outreach efforts underway in the district.

Talking points, fact sheet and details on the 2012 Farm Bill

Letter #2: Support LWCF & Forest Legacy in the Transportation Bill

UPDATE: Click here for the initial version sent. It's still helpful to sign as we may add signers and re-send the statement with updated cover letters as negotiations proceed.

The Senate approved a Transportation Bill amendment that would dedicate $1.4 billion to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) over the next two years (along with funding for Gulf Coast restoration). As we speak, the House and Senate are negotiating whether this provision will survive in the final bill.

Please consider signing your organization on to this statement by June 15 [Now final: version sent.] to show Congress how important it is to your local community that LWCF be included in the final Transportation bill this year.

To sign, please email your organization's name to: gjones@outdoorsamerica.org.

Want to do more? If your House Rep. is a Democrat, please urge him or her to sign-on to this Democratic Dear Colleague letter by Thursday, June 14 by contacting Libby O'Hare in the office of Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ). A similar letter from Republicans was finalized May 29.

Thanks for helping!

P.S. -- Please forward this alert to partner organizations in your community. All are welcome to sign-on.

H.R. 1964 Co-sponsors Added Since Our Last Update:

  • Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA/5th)

See the full list and map at: www.lta.org/easementincentive/cosponsors.

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June 12: In Historic First, Conservation Tax Incentive Approved by Committee

We are one step closer to making the incentive permanent, but we now need to convince House leadership that this is a priority for their members and should be brought to the floor for a vote ASAP. Please consider signing your land trust onto this letter by Independent Sector asking all members of the House to vote for the conservation tax incentive and two other charitable provisions.
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