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Emerging Issues

Energy Development Threats to Conservation

In an alarming trend over the last few years, large swaths of farms, forests and wildlands permanently protected for the benefit of the public have been targeted for the siting of energy infrastructure projects. As climate and energy bills move through Congress, the push for rapid development of low carbon energy and new transmission lines should not, as an unintended consequence, undo years of work and public and private investment in conservation.

 

Responding to Climate Change

Global climate change is both a challenge and an opportunity for the land conservation community. Since natural landscapes sequester carbon dioxide, land trusts can be part of the solution. Meanwhile, new funding sources generated by climate legislation may help land trusts adapt to the challenge of a changing landscape.

 

Conservation Easement Statutes

Conservation easement enabling statutes serve as the internal structural frame upon which thousands of easements have been granted. As the land conservation movement has matured in recent years, there has been a corresponding interest in amending enabling statutes. This report is a resource for those in the land conservation field, including land trust staff, government agencies that hold easements, attorneys and elected officials. In certain cases, these individuals might wish to amend their state statute to plug a gap or otherwise strengthen it. In other cases, they might be playing defense, fending off a bill that would be deleterious to sound easement practices. Finally, some might simply be curious as to how their state statute compares to others.

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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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News
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Congress wrestles with tax breaks for open space

July 29, 2014 | Poughkeepsie Journal | NY

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House passes Gerlach conservation tax break bill, now up to Senate

July 18, 2014 | The Mercury News | Pottstown, PA

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The Time is Now for Congress to Act on Conservation

July 15, 2014 | Politico | Washington, D.C.

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