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Letter on Tax Incentive in Farm Bill, New Public Policy Specialist

Advocates Alert: February 6, 2008

House and Senate staff are now working to reach a compromise between the Senate version of the Farm Bill—which included a permanent extension of the new tax incentive for conservation easements—and the House version, which did not. They are trying to meet a March 15 deadline. Your help over the next few weeks will be critical to our success on this top legislative priority!

Tax Incentive for Conservation Easements in the Farm Bill

Our priority this week is to reach members of the House of Representatives and encourage them to accept the Senate language on tax incentives for conservation easement donations and bargain sales. To demonstrate bipartisan support for these provisions, the co-chairs of the House Land Conservation Caucus, Congressmen Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Joe Pitts (R-PA) are circulating a sign-on letter (see below) to the leaders of the House Agriculture Committee. We need members of your House delegation to sign this letter!

Call to Action

  • Please call your Representative today.  You can reach them by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Then ask to speak with the staffer who handles agricultural issues. Urge them to support a permanent extension to the conservation tax incentive in the farm bill by signing on to the letter being circulated by Congressman Chris Murphy (D-CT). To sign-on, they can contact Jessie Young in Rep. Murphy’s office at jesse.young@mail.house.gov or 5-4476.
  • Offer to forward the letter to them by email or fax. A copy of the letter is posted here. It’s also a good idea to include a personal note indicating how important the conservation tax incentive is to your organization and landowners in your community.

Signatures are due by Friday, February 8, but this deadline will likely be extended.

Sean Robertson Joins the Land Trust Alliance as Public Policy Specialist

We’re excited to announce that Sean Robertson has joined the Land Trust Alliance as Public Policy Specialist. You may already know Sean from his work at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies where he coordinated outreach on the state wildlife action plans. His workshops and exhibits at Rally and other conferences helped add more than 350 land trusts to Teaming with Wildlife, a coalition seeking increased state and federal funding for wildlife conservation. Prior to joining the Association, Sean worked for National Wildlife Federation’s Congressional & Federal Affairs Office, Sierra Club’s Challenge to Sprawl Campaign, Ozone Action’s Global Warming Program and the Office of Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

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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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