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Welcome the New Congress, Incentive Legislation

Advocates Alert: January 20, 2009

Happy New Year!

As we write, millions are swarming past our office to welcome a new President to Washington, DC.  Many of these folks are also visiting their Members of Congress, and they’ll no doubt be introducing themselves and asking for help on their policy priorities.  To be successful ADVOCATES for the land trust community, we should too!

You have a compelling story to tell!  Your passionate members and the landowners you work with are their constituents!  There's no better time than the present to (re)introduce yourself to your Congressional Delegation and their staff members working on tax and conservation issues -- especially if they are among the 74 NEW Members of Congress or one of hundreds of new staff members. Click here for a sample letter.

The emailed version of this alert included state-by-state congressional directories. To get yours, please email policy@lta.org. Unlike most directories you'll see, these included staff names and email addresses.  These contacts are a valuable way to build relationships with staff and get your message past the front desk, but please use them judiciously -- you don't want to be known for spamming them!

Help Gather Original Cosponsors for Easement Incentive Legislation

Our top legislative priority this year is to prevent the enhanced tax incentive for conservation easements from expiring on December 31, 2009!  Please ask your Members of Congress to become original cosponsors of new legislation in the 111th Congress to make the easement incentive permanent:

  • Representatives can cosponsor by calling the office of Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA).

  • Senators can cosponsor legislation to be introduced by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) by calling Jo-Ellen Darcy at the Finance Committee.

If your Senator or Representative was a cosponsor of identical legislation in the 110th Congress, be sure to tell them so when asking for their support. Click here for new fact sheets and talking points.

Thanks for your help kicking the year off right!

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Advocates Alerts

July 10: House Vote on Conservation Tax Incentive Coming Soon

The House of Representatives will vote on the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, perhaps as early as next week. Whether you use this incentive or not, this is an unprecedented opportunity for the entire House of Representatives to vote specifically on whether or not to help land trusts. Every vote will count, and we urge you to call your congressional office and ask your representative to support H.R. 2807 when it comes to the floor – and to get as many others as possible in your land trust and its local partners to do the same.
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