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Majority in House Co-sponsor Incentive (but more Rs needed), LWCF Letter, FY 11 Funding

Advocates Alert: April 21, 2011

Thanks to your amazing work, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act will have a majority of the House listed as original co-sponsors when it is introduced. We're just as excited to announce that the list will include House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Democrat Sander Levin (D-MI). This is an extremely rare feat and well worth celebrating, but we still need your help.

226 Original Co-sponsors, but We Need Your Help Adding Republicans

Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Jim Gerlach (R-PA) have decided to wait until after the Spring District Work Period to introduce their bill to make the enhanced easement incentive permanent.  That gives us at least two more weeks to add to the list of original co-sponsors.

Last year's H.R. 1831 was remarkably bi-partisan, and we'd like to do what we did last year -- have a majority of the members from both parties co-sponsor. Right now, we are far short of having a majority of Republican House members.  This isn't entirely our fault -- freshmen are always more reluctant to sign-on and this year there are 85 freshmen Republicans (of whom only three have co-sponsored) -- but we need to make every effort to get additional Republicans on board by the first week of May.

Please check the co-sponsor list. If any of your state's Republicans are missing, we urge you to make it your business to work with fellow land trusts and other partners to get them on-board. This recess, which runs through May 1, is a great time to show up and meet your Rep. at town-halls, open houses and other public events in the district. Their staffers back in DC are also less busy, so it's a great time to call:

  • Reach your Rep's office via the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak with their tax staffer.
  • Urge your Representative to become an original co-sponsor of the Conservation Easement Incentive Act by calling Lori Prater in Rep. Gerlach's office or Carla McNeill in Rep. Thompson's office.
  • Remind Republicans that conservation easements are a cost-effective, voluntary, private-sector alternative to government led conservation efforts and that this incentive makes the tax system fairer for modest-income farmers, ranchers and forest owners.
  • Tell them that Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) have been the lead Republicans on this bill in previous sessions of Congress.
  • If your Rep. is a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, be sure to ask for the staff member's email address and forward our new letter from 38 hunting and fishing organizations.
  • Click here for other talking points and materials to forward.

Scroll down for a list of the 35 remaining Republicans who have co-sponsored easement incentive legislation in previous years. Thanking them and asking for their renewed support should be relatively easy, but don't stop there; if you make it clear this is an important issue for their constituents, there's no reason we can't get any Rep on the map.

Budget Deal Partly Restores Conservation Funding For Rest of 2011

In case you missed last week's eNews, conservation program funding levels for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 are now final. While cuts are disappointing, last week's budget deal is a welcome relief given an earlier House proposal to eliminate several important conservation programs entirely. See how your favorite programs fared.

Ask Your Rep. to Support LWCF and Forest Legacy in FY 2012

You can help improve the funding picture for fiscal year 2012 today by asking your representative to sign on to the FY 2012 LWCF/Forest Legacy Dear Colleague Letter. This annual letter delivers a strong statement in favor of robust land conservation funding.

Scroll down for the list of the 40 Representatives who have already signed on. If your Rep. isn't yet on the list, call your rep's environment staffer (switchboard: 202-224-3121) and offer to forward them the letter by e-mail. Signers should contact Melanie Rhinehart in the office of Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA). Last year's letter had 114 signers, so we really need your help today. The deadline for this letter is May 6.

Thanks for being an Advocate!

P.S. -- We still need your help ensuring an accurate count on the 2010 National Land Trust Census. Please check this list of respondents to make sure that your land trust, its partners and other land trusts in your area have completed the form. We are still accepting late submissions online, through the mail, and by e-mail, but the deadline has passed and the survey will soon go offline.

For a continuously updated list of Conservation Easement Incentive Act co-sponsors please visit: www.lta.org/easementincentive/cosponsors.

Previous Republican easement incentive co-sponsors NOT yet signed-on (updated 5/18/11):

(All co-sponsored last year's H.R. 1831 unless noted otherwise)

  • Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL/1st) (has since agreed to co-sponsor)
  • Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL/3rd)
  • Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA/49th) -- Co-sponsored H.R. 1576 in 2007
  • Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO/6th)
  • Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL/16th)
  • Rep. Pete Roskam (R-IL/6th) -- Particularly important as a Ways & Means member
  • Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL/13th) -- Co-sponsored H.R. 5056 in 2006.
  • Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY/5th)
  • Rep. John Fleming (R-LA/4th)
  • Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD/6th) (has since agreed to co-sponsor)
  • Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI/11th) (has since agreed to co-sponsor)
  • Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN/6th) -- Particularly important as Chair of Tea Party Caucus
  • Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS/3rd)
  • Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO/9th)
  • Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE/1st)
  • Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE/3rd) (has since agreed to co-sponsor)
  • Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ/5th)
  • Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ/11th) (has since agreed to co-sponsor)
  • Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH/3rd) (has since agreed to co-sponsor)
  • Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK/4th)
  • Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA/8th) (has since agreed to co-sponsor)
  • Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA/18th)
  • Rep. Todd Russell Platts (R-PA/19th)
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN/7th)
  • Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX/2nd)
  • Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX/10th)
  • Rep. Robert Neugebauer (R-TX/19th)
  • Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX/21st) (has since agreed to co-sponsor)
  • Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX/22nd)
  • Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX/26th)
  • Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA/1st)
  • Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA/4th)
  • Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA/7th)
  • Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA/10th)
  • Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI/1st) -- Particularly important as a Ways & Means member

Signers of the FY 2012 LWCF/Forest Legacy Letter (updated 5/5/11):

(Please call if your Rep is NOT on this list, click here for details)

  • Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL/1st)
  • Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ/7th)
  • Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA/1st)
  • Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA/6th)
  • Rep. George Miller (D-CA/7th)
  • Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA/10th)
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA/11th)
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA/14th)
  • Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA/20th)
  • Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA/23rd)
  • Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA/27th)
  • Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA/28th)
  • Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA/30th)
  • Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA/37th)
  • Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO/2nd)
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT/3rd)
  • Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT/5th)
  • Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL/23rd)
  • Rep. David Scott (D-GA/13th)
  • Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI/1st)
  • Rep. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI/2nd)
  • Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL/2nd)
  • Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY/3rd)
  • Rep. Richard neal (D-MA/2nd)
  • Rep. James McGovern (D-MA/3rd)
  • Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA/4th)
  • Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA/5th)
  • Rep. John Tierney (D-MA/6th)
  • Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA/7th)
  • Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA/9th)
  • Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD/3rd)
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD/7th)
  • Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD/8th)
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME/1st)
  • Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME/2nd)
  • Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI/5th)
  • Rep. John Conyers (D-MI/14th)
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO/1st)
  • Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO/5th)
  • Rep. Gregorio Sablan (I-MP)
  • Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC/1st)
  • Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC/7th)
  • Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC/11th)
  • Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH/2nd)
  • Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ/2nd)
  • Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ/6th)
  • Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ/12th)
  • Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ/13th)
  • Repm Martin Heinrich (D-NM/1st)
  • Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM/3rd)
  • Rep. Shelly Berkley (D-NV/1st)
  • Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY/1st)
  • Rep. Peter King (R-NY/3rd)
  • Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH/13th)
  • Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH/17th)
  • Rep. David Wu (D-OR/1st)
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR/3rd)
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR/4th)
  • Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR/5th)
  • Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA/1st)
  • Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA/2nd)
  • Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA/6th)
  • Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA/13th)
  • Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA/14th)
  • Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI/1st)
  • Rep. James Langevin (D-RI/2nd)
  • Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-VA/3rd)
  • Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA/11th)
  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT/At-Large)
  • Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA/1st)
  • Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA/7th)
  • Rep. David Reichert (R-WA/8th)
  • Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI/2nd)
  • Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI/3rd)
  • Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI/4th)
  • Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV/3rd)


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