Congress advances tax proposals

As expected, congressional Republicans are moving rapidly to advance their tax proposal, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

i
U.S. Capitol / Photo by DJ Glisson, II
November 17, 2017
Comments

Keep nonprofits nonpartisan

For more than six decades, federal tax law provisions have prohibited nonprofit organizations from endorsing, opposing or contributing to political candidates. That could now change. And in our view, that change would be bad.

i
Pixabay.com/geralt
November 13, 2017
Comments

What tax reform could mean for land trusts

The proposal does not appear to change the enhanced deduction for conservation easement donations.

i
U.S. Capitol / Photo by DJ Glisson, II
November 03, 2017
Comments

What's all this about tax reform?

On Sept. 27, the White House and Republican leaders of Congress released a "Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code." It seems like everyone has a take on what it could mean for individual taxpayers and businesses. But what are the implications for charities and, in particular, land trusts?

i
U.S. Capitol / Photo by DJ Glisson, II
September 29, 2017
Comments

Cultivating a new Farm Bill

Capitol Hill is turning its attention to reauthorizing the Farm Bill — and the Land Trust Alliance is advocating for programs that will help our members conserve more land.

i
Partnership of Rangeland Trusts from Colorado members and Land Trust Alliance staff meet with U.S. House Committee on Agriculture officials. / Photo courtesy of Lori Faeth
September 15, 2017
Comments

The human benefits of protecting nature

Nature provides numerous benefits to humans, from the pure pleasure of experiencing it to the food and water it provides us. How is it possible, then, to put a price on something so priceless?

i
Brown bear with salmon / Photo by L. Hupp/USFWS
September 08, 2017
Comments

It’s time to stand up for IRS Notice 2017-10

Together with you and strong bipartisan support in Congress, we made the enhanced conservation easement tax incentive permanent in 2015. That was a triumphant moment for land conservation across America.

i
U.S. Capitol / Photo by DJ Glisson, II
August 15, 2017
Comments

Saving the legal framework of conservation

You might not know its name, but the Uniform Conservation Easement Act (UCEA) benefits the land conservation work Land Trust Alliance members do every day.

i
Pixabay.com/knerri61

True land conservation isn't about profit

Conserving land is a beautiful experience that begins with a landowner who loves their land.

i
Photo by DJ Glisson, II/Firefly Imageworks

Oregon partnership scores conservation win

Conservation and agriculture groups joined forces to pass legislation creating Oregon's first voluntary working lands protection program.

i
A diverse coalition successfully lobbied the Oregon Legislative Assembly for a new program benefiting farm and ranch land. / Photo by Derek Schroeder
July 13, 2017
Comments

An island escape in Ohio

Those seeking a quiet refuge on the picturesque Lake Erie Islands may choose Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve — conserved in part by funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 

i
Lake Erie shoreline on the preserve/Photo courtesy of the accredited Black Swamp Conservancy in Ohio

U.S. Interior Secretary speaks at Advocacy Days

The importance of trust. The value of good land management. And the continuing inspiration of Teddy Roosevelt. 

May 04, 2017
Comments

New clarity on the IRS tax shelter notice

The IRS has published a welcome supplemental Notice complementing an earlier Notice that made conservation easement tax shelters "listed transactions."

i
The Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington, D.C. / Photo by DJ Glisson, II/Firefly Imageworks
April 28, 2017
Comments

A definitive answer

After the IRS issued its Notice making conservation easement tax shelters "listed transactions," some questions emerged as to how much land trusts should be worried. We know now that organizations following Land Trust Standards and Practices have nothing to worry about.

i
The Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington, D.C. / Photo by DJ Glisson, II/Firefly Imageworks
March 08, 2017
Comments

How much for those trees?

The U.S. Forest Service is offering a free app, called i-Tree, that measures forest cover and quantifies the services that trees provide.

i
©iStockPhoto.com/greenstock
February 02, 2017
Comments

A whole new ballgame

The election of Donald Trump, the united Congress and a changing political climate affect virtually every area of national policy important to land trusts.

i
Photo by DJ Glisson, II/Firefly Imageworks
January 19, 2017
Comments

Ruminating on the IRS tax shelter notice

The IRS notice is good news for land trusts and all who care about land conservation.

i
The Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington, D.C. / Photo by DJ Glisson, II/Firefly Imageworks
January 12, 2017
Comments

An important first step

The IRS took today the important, anticipated step of making conservation easement tax shelters a "listed transaction."

i
http://www.123rf.com/Kevin Grant
December 23, 2016
Comments

Advocates for the land

Public policy can be complex. But U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania knows the bottom line.

December 22, 2016
Comments

New York’s bold blueprint

What do Long Island’s vulnerable aquifers, New York City watershed lands, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River all have in common?

i
Photo courtesy of Great Swamp Conservancy
December 13, 2016
Comments

Overtime by the book

Are your contractors really employees and do you owe them overtime pay?

i
FreeImages.com/Jean Scheijen
November 21, 2016
Comments

Land trusts bring voters together

At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love and are even willing to tax themselves to protect those places.

i
FreeImages.com/Kristen Price
November 10, 2016
Comments

Proposed IRS action

As Andrew Bowman expressed during his speech at Rally last week, we face significant reputational risk if we do not address the fact that people are using conservation easement donations to make substantial profits on land held for only a short period of time.
 

 

 

i
http://www.123rf.com/Kevin Grant
November 03, 2016
Comments

Challenge and opportunity

Every year, the IRS publishes the Priority Guidance Plan, a lengthy list outlining upcoming guidance and regulations.

i
The Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C. / Photo by DJ Glisson
September 13, 2016
Comments

Clean hands, clean planet

Just as we strive to keep the planet clean, we in land conservation strive to keep our reputation clean.

i
U.S. Department of the Treasury/Pixabay.com/Greyerbaby

A new push for LWCF

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is hopefully giving the Land and Water Conservation Fund some thought this month while he’s home in Wisconsin.

i
Dan Nordstrom, owner and CEO of Outdoor Research, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington state and Jim Whittaker, a famed mountaineer and environmentalist, recently appeared together to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund / Photo by Tom O'Keefe
August 04, 2016
Comments

Creating new funding

“It’s politics, but it’s just people.”

July 12, 2016
Comments

Learning from land trusts

For the past quarter century, progress on climate change and other green priorities has been stymied by hyper-partisan politics. But over the same period, one corner of the green movement — private land conservation — grew rapidly.

i
FreeImages.com/Robert Owen-Wahl
April 25, 2016
Comments

A milestone moment for LWCF

The Land Trust Alliance and its members are delighted following the U.S. Senate’s vote Wednesday to pass — for the first time — permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

i
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon is a longtime advocate for the Land and Water Conservation Fund / Photo by DJ Glisson II
April 21, 2016
Comments

Reading the fine print

Major changes affecting donations of conservation easements to land trusts are proposed in President Barack Obama’s newest budget, released last week. While these are merely proposals at this time, they’re proposals that could have a significant effect on land conservation.

i
FreeImages.com/John Noble
February 17, 2016
Comments

Cash for conservation

President Barack Obama wants to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and steer other cash to conservation in fiscal year 2017.

i
FreeImages.com/bvasquez
February 16, 2016
Comments

Fisheries, farmlands and beyond

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today awarded $220 million as part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program for projects that will improve water quality, protect working farms and forestlands and restore wildlife habitat.

 

i
Photo courtesy of Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
February 12, 2016
Comments

Dreaming big in 2016

Our marathon to make the conservation easement tax incentive permanent is won! And three years’ re-authorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund — including an impressive $450 million for this fiscal year — is secured.

i
Land Trust Alliance Advocacy Director Andy McLeod, center, sees the Alliance building on its 2015 success in 2016/Photo by DJ Glisson, II/Firefly Imageworks
February 11, 2016
Comments

The importance of involvement

Jeanie Nelson knows well the vital role that government plays in conservation and for the environment.

i
Photo courtesy of Land Trust for Tennessee
February 01, 2016
Comments

An important investment

It’s an exciting moment for land conservation in New York.

i
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo/Photo courtesy of Cuomo’s office
January 13, 2016
Comments

Congress votes to make tax incentive permanent

In a strong bipartisan action, the Senate voted 65-33 today to pass the bill that will make the tax incentive for conservation easement donations permanent.

December 18, 2015
Comments

Now is the time

I am asking you to make a very important phone call. A major tax package will come to the floor of the House this afternoon, and the Senate tomorrow. This bill would make permanent the enhanced federal tax incentive for donations of conservation easements.

December 17, 2015
Comments

Congress poised to make tax incentive permanent

Congressional leaders have announced a broad, year-end deal that will make permanent the enhanced incentive for donations of conservation easements! Additionally, the deal includes a brief but welcome reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund — setting the stage for important legislative action next year.

December 16, 2015
Comments

Dear editor

Recent letters to the editor in Utah and Oregon illustrate how the Alliance is helping land trusts across the nation use opinion pages to influence public policy.

i
At the Oregon Food Bank, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden stressed his commitment to permanence for charitable tax incentives/Photo by Mike Running
December 15, 2015
Comments

Join us for Advocacy Days

Registration for the fifth annual Land Trust Alliance Advocacy Days is now open! This event represents a prime opportunity for hands-on advocacy training, lobby visits with your elected officials in Washington, D.C., and more!

December 14, 2015
Comments

March to permanence

The enhanced incentive for donations of conservation easements is very much alive and well in deadline negotiations on tax and spending issues now taking place in Washington. This could result in reinstating the incentive permanently — a top policy goal for the Alliance for the past decade.

December 11, 2015
Comments

A governor, two corgis and one big day

California is the most important agricultural state in the country, so when the state’s governor and secretary of food and agriculture come to a land trust event, it’s a big day.

i
California Gov. Jerry Brown, right, joined Yolo Land Trust for A Day in the Country/Photo by Phil Hogan
November 16, 2015
Comments

From advocate to ambassador

Larry Frimerman, one of the Alliance’s newest ambassadors, is no stranger to advocacy. Throughout his career, he’s advocated for conservation and farmland preservation across Ohio.

i
Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels, left, stands with Larry Frimerman, a longtime advocate of land conservation/Photo courtesy of Frimerman
November 11, 2015
Comments

Encouraging developments

The recent budget deal negotiated by Congressional leaders is an encouraging development for the expired incentive for easement donations, even though it does not directly address it.

i
Photo courtesy of http://instagram.com/RepPaulRyan
October 29, 2015
Comments

Ambassador of the Year: Alicia Reban

For nearly 20 years Alicia Reban has been dedicated to preserving Nevada’s open spaces. As executive director of the Nevada Land Trust, Alicia took the Land Trust Alliance Ambassador pledge at a time when her state’s senior senator, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, was majority leader.

i
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada and Nevada Land Trust Executive Director Alicia Reban/Photo courtesy of Alicia Reban
October 15, 2015
Comments

Expiration isn’t the end

The Land and Water Conservation Fund expired this week  — its first expiration in 50 years — but this isn’t the end.

i
The Land and Water Conservation Fund helped protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota/FreeImages.com/Matthew Barnett
October 02, 2015
Comments

Growing bipartisan support

Two presidential contenders — one Republican and one Democrat — are the newest sponsors of federal legislation to make permanent an enhanced incentive for conservation easement donations.

i
FreeImages.com/Jonathan Kendrick
October 01, 2015
Comments

Saving the sage-grouse

Successful private land conservation played a significant role in this week’s announcement that the greater sage-grouse does not require protection under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

i
© Steve Fairbairn, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
September 24, 2015
Comments

This ‘cranky Yankee’ wears many hats

Jamey French wears many hats, but the role that perhaps best describes this New Englander’s wide range of pursuits is “ambassador.”

i
Jamey French/Photo courtesy of Northland Forest Products
September 16, 2015
Comments

42 sponsors and good momentum

While the challenge of making permanent the enhanced tax benefits for donations of conservation easements can seem never ending, its land trust backers never quit. In fact, while Congress takes its summer recess, there is reason for optimism.

i
Leelanau Conservancy board member John Erb presents an award to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, a lead sponsor of the Conservation Easement Incentive Act/© DJ Glisson/Firefly Imageworks
August 18, 2015
Comments

Two months to save LWCF

Over the past five decades, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has infused over $16 billion of federal energy royalties into more than 41,000 conservation projects — from iconic national treasures to hometown parks and natural areas in nearly every county. But unless Congress acts, the LWCF will expire in two months!

i
Chris Matarangas, an aide to U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, meets with Steve Schwartz of Delaware Highlands Conservancy and Gary Bloss of Friends of Cherry Valley
July 27, 2015
Comments

Schumer, others support land conservation

U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are now among the 33 senators sponsoring the Conservation Easement Incentive Act.

i
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, center, took a stand for land during a land trust event in New York State.
July 23, 2015
Comments

One step forward in the U.S. Senate

It wasn’t the action we wanted, but it’s good news nonetheless.

July 22, 2015
Comments

U.S. Senate takes up easement incentive

The Senate Finance Committee takes up expired tax provisions that need renewal — including the enhanced incentive for conservation easement donations — tomorrow! We’ve pushed for years to make this permanent.

i
U.S. Sens. Orin Hatch and Ron Wyden are the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance/Photo courtesy Senate Committee on Finance
July 20, 2015
Comments

Become an Advocacy Ambassador

At the Land Trust Alliance, we work to advocate for land conservation and land trusts across the country — but we can’t do it alone.

July 06, 2015
Comments

Our advocacy days through Twitter

During our recent advocacy days in Washington, D.C., we challenged participants to share their political muscle flexing on Twitter. And many people rose to the challenge!

June 08, 2015
Comments