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Help Shape the Next Farm Bill

eNews Request for Comments on our 2012 Farm Bill Discussion Draft

Over the past few years, Land Trust Alliance members have clearly articulated that funding from the Farm Bill is critical to achieving our collective conservation goals. Investing more than four billion dollars a year in a suite of conservation programs, the Farm Bill now far exceeds other federal sources of conservation funding. Today we're seeking your feedback on a draft position paper that seeks to articulate our community's shared goals for the Farm Bill's anticipated reauthorization in 2012: to maximize funding for the purchase of conservation easements in the Farm Bill, and to increase land trusts' access to these conservation programs.

We have spent the past year listening to our members about what works and what doesn't. We've sought feedback at Rally, state and regional conferences, via Advocates, eNews and our website, through outreach by our field staff and in one-on-one conversations with users of these programs in every region of the country. In total, we received feedback from over 50 land trusts in 22 states.

Our "Proposed Modifications to the Conservation Title of the 2012 Farm Bill" seeks to turn this feedback into a unified vision for the land trust community. We know that you are busy, but we hope that you will take the opportunity to review the discussion draft and send your comments to: lsherrod@lta.org.

In doing so, we ask you to consider two other important factors. The first is that the 2012 Farm Bill will be considered in a climate of unprecedented fiscal constraints, under which there will be great pressure to reduce funding, consolidate programs or eliminate them altogether. The second is that the Alliance staff is small, and we have to focus on the few things that matter the most to our members if we hope to have an impact.

We pledge to keep you informed throughout the negotiation process, once it begins. Your advocacy and your insight will be our most effective weapons in constructing a solid foundation of support for Farm Bill conservation funding. If there is another person in your organization that is more appropriate to deal with Farm Bill issues, please forward this to them and let us know so we can update our list of Farm Bill partners.

Thank you for your endless energy in the pursuit of land conservation across this great country of ours.

Warmest regards,

Lynne Sherrod
Western Policy Manager
Land Trust Alliance
55810 ME Road
Collbran, CO 81624
970-487-9924 (phone & fax)
lsherrod@lta.org

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Advocates Alerts

July 17: The House just voted 277-130 to pass the charities package! 56 Democrats joined their Republican colleagues to support charitable giving incentives, including the enhanced easement incentive - the second-highest number of defections after the research and development tax credit. Several others spoke on the floor in support of the conservation easement incentive, and other favorable charitable incentives. Thank you to organizations like Ducks Unlimited, CSF and others that reached out to Congressional offices over the last few days or alerted their membership of this important vote. Now, we pivot to the Senate.
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