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Budget Deal Restores Most Conservation Funding, Is Your Rep an Easement Incentive Co-sponsor?

Policy eNews Update: April 13, 2011

FRPP & GRP Unscathed; NAWCA, LWCF & Other Programs Partly Restored

Yesterday, Congress released details of the deal reached late last week to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. Most conservation programs sustain cuts, and our conservation work will suffer as a result, but they’re a far cry from the 90-100% cuts proposed by the House in February.  In that sense, this deal is a welcome relief.

Barring an unexpected snag, we expect a long term Continuing Resolution for FY 2011 to be enacted later this week, providing the following funding levels (UPDATE: These funding levels are now final.):

  • Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) is not capped by the bill, thus it should increase as scheduled to $175 million -- the highest level ever. That’s $25 m more than FY 10 and $15 m more than the President’s FY 11 request.
  • Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is not capped, thus it can continue unimpeded towards the acreage goal set in the 2008 Farm Bill.
  • Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is capped at 202,218 acres, a cut of about $119 m from FY 10, but $23 m more than in the President’s FY 11 request.
  • Other farm bill conservation programs also sustained cuts, but some fared better than in the President’s request.
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is set at $301 m overall, a cut of $149 m or 33% below FY 10, but $244 m above the funding level proposed by the House in February. We don’t yet know the exact breakdown between state and federal projects or the exact process for selecting which projects get funded. We’ll keep you posted.
  • Forest Legacy (FLP) receives $53 m (included in the LWCF total), a 31% cut from last year.
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) is restored to $37.5 m, a $10.5 m cut from last year.  The House proposed eliminating the program in February.
  • State Wildlife Grants (SWG) is restored to $62 m, a $28 m cut from last year but far better than the program elimination proposed in February.
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is cut by $175 m to $300 m, the same funding cut that had been proposed in the President’s request.

To research other programs you can read the bill text or summaries from House Republicans and Democrats.

If you asked your members of congress to fight for one of the programs that has been partly restored, we very much hope you’ll take the time to say thank you. The start of fiscal year 2012 is now less than six months away and that appropriations process is already underway.

You can help improve the funding picture for 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. Last year's letter had 114 signers, compared to just 12 so far this year (Bass, Blumenauer, Butterfield, Gerlach, Holt, Lujan, McGovern, G. Miller, C. Murphy, Shuler, M. Thompson and Wu) so we really need your help today. Simply call your rep's environment staffer (switchboard: 202-224-3121) and offer to forward them the letter by e-mail.

Is Your Rep Among the 171 Easement Incentive Co-sponsors? There’s Still Time

Thanks to your efforts, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act has 171 original co-sponsors -- already more than the 93 originals in the 111th Congress – but we still need your help supporting this legislation to make the enhanced easement incentive permanent! Please check the list to see if the representatives for your land trust’s service area have signed-on. We particularly need help with members of the Ways & Means Committee and Republicans, who were a much larger proportion of last year’s co-sponsors.

To reach any member of Congress, simply call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for their office.  When you reach your Representative’s tax staffer, urge them to become an original co-sponsor by calling Lori Prater in Rep. Jim Gerlach’s office or Carla McNeill in Rep. Mike Thompson’s office. Click here for talking points.

When speaking with your Rep’s tax staffer, ask for their email address and offer to follow-up with local examples, fact sheets, and letters of support. Last week, Sportsmen’s Caucus members received a new letter from the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) and the Partnership of Rangeland Trusts (PORT) sent a letter to Western members of Congress.

Original co-sponsors are listed in the bill text itself and a diverse list will be extremely helpful in demonstrating the breadth of our support. Our champions hope to introduce the bill by Friday, in which case we have just two more days to gather original co-sponsors. Whether the bill has been introduced or not, the spring district work period, April 16 – May 1, is an excellent opportunity to meet your representative in the district and urge them to co-sponsor.

UPDATE: Reps. Thompson and Gerlach decided to wait until the first week of May to introduce the Conservation Easement Incentive Act so you have more time to persuade your representattive to sign-on. Also note that the list below will not be updated. Click here for the latest list.

Original Co-sponsors of the Conservation Easement Incentive Act



  • Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA/6th)*
  • Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA/1st)*

CO-SPONSORS (171 total; by state):

  • Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL/6th)
  • Rep. Don Young (R-AK/1st)
  • Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ/4th)
  • Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ/7th)
  • Rep. Mike Ross (R-AR/4th)
  • Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA/3rd)
  • 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. Jackie Speier (D-CA/12th)
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA/14th)
  • Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA/15th)
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA/16th)
  • Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA/17th)
  • Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA/18th)
  • Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA/20th)
  • Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA/21st)*
  • Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA/23rd)
  • Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA/27th)
  • Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA/28th)
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA/29th)
  • Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA/30th)
  • Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA/31st)*
  • Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA/38th)
  • Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA/39th)
  • Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA/44th)
  • Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA/51st)
  • Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO/1st)
  • Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO/2nd)
  • Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO/7th)
  • Rep. John Larson (D-CT/1st)*
  • Rep. Joseph Courtney (D-CT/2nd)
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT/3rd)
  • Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT/4th)
  • Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT/5th)
  • Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL/1st)
  • Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL/3rd)
  • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL/18th)
  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL/21st)
  • Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL/23rd)
  • Rep. John Lewis (D-GA/5th)*
  • Rep. John Barrow (D-GA/12th)
  • Rep. David Scott (D-GA/13th)
  • Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI/1st)
  • Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI/2nd)
  • Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID/2nd)
  • Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL/2nd)
  • Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL/4th)
  • Rep. Timothy V. Johnson (R-IL/15th)
  • Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-IL/16th)
  • Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN/5th)
  • Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA/1st)
  • Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA/2nd)
  • Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA/3rd)
  • Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA/4th)
  • Rep. Steve King (R-IA/5th)
  • Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS/2nd)*
  • Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY/2nd)
  • Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY/3rd)
  • Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY/4th)*
  • Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY/6th)
  • Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA/5th)
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME/1st)
  • Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME/2nd)
  • Rep. Dutch Ruppersburger (D-MD/2nd)
  • Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD/3rd)
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD/7th)
  • Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD/8th)
  • Rep. John Olver (D-MA/1st)
  • Rep. James McGovern (D-MA/3rd)
  • Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA/4th)
  • Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA/5th)
  • Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI/4th)*
  • Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI/5th)
  • Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI/6th)
  • Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI/8th)
  • Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI/10th)
  • Rep. John Conyers (D-MI/14th)
  • Rep. John Dingell (D-MI/15th)
  • Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN/5th)
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS/2nd)
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO/1st)
  • Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO/3rd)
  • Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT/At-large)
  • Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE/2nd)
  • Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV/1st)*
  • Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV/2nd)*
  • Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ/2nd)
  • Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ/4th)
  • Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ/7th)
  • Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ/8th)*
  • Rep. Steven Rothman (D-NJ/9th)
  • Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ/10th)
  • Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ/12th)
  • Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ/13th)
  • Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM/1st)
  • Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM/3rd)
  • Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY/1st)
  • Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY/2nd)
  • Rep. Peter King (R-NY/3rd)
  • Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY/7th)*
  • Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY/9th)
  • Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY/10th)
  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY/14th)
  • Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY/15th)*
  • Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY/16th)
  • Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY/17th)
  • Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY/18th)
  • Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY/21st)
  • Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY/22nd)
  • Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY/27th)
  • Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY/28th)
  • Rep. David Price (D-NC/4th)
  • Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC/6th)
  • Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC/7th)
  • Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC/8th)
  • Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC/9th)
  • Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC/10th)
  • Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC/11th)
  • Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC/13th)
  • Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH/5th)
  • Rep. Steve Austria (R-OH/7th)
  • Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH/9th)
  • Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-OH/12th)*
  • Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-OH/14th)
  • Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH/17th)
  • Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK/2nd)
  • 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. Jason Altmire (D-PA/4th)
  • Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA/9th)
  • Rep. Mark Critz (D-PA/12th)
  • Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA/13th)
  • Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA/14th)
  • Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA/15th)
  • Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI/1st)
  • Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI/2nd)
  • Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC/2nd)
  • Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN/1st)
  • Rep. John Duncan (R-TN/2nd)
  • Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN/9th)
  • Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX/3rd)*
  • Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX/8th)*
  • Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX/11th)
  • Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX/13th)
  • Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX/14th)
  • Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX/16th)
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX/18th)
  • Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX/20th)
  • Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX/25th)*
  • Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX/30th)
  • Rep. John Carter (R-TX/31st)
  • Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX/32nd)
  • Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT/2nd)
  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT/At-large)
  • Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA/6th)
  • Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA/8th)
  • Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA/11th)
  • Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA/1st)
  • Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA/2nd)
  • Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA/5th)
  • Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA/7th)*
  • Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-WV/3rd)
  • Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI/2nd)
  • Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI/3rd)*
  • Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY/At-large)

* Members of the Ways & Means Committee

Co-sponsors of the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act, S. 339


  • Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)*
  • Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA)*
  • Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)

COSPONSORS (10 total, listed by state):

  • Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)*

* Members of the Finance Committee

Have You Responded to Census? Check the List

The deadline for the 2010 National Land Trust Census was March 31. Please check this list to make sure that your land trust, its partners and other land trusts in your area have responded. We are still accepting late submissions online, through the mail, and by e-mail, but you must act now.

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February 12: The House successfully voted 279-137, demonstrating a supermajority (67%) of support, on H.R. 644, a package of charitable incentives including the conservation tax incentive.Now we need your help in the Senate to secure co-sponsors! Sens. Heller and Stabenow have requested land trusts’ assistance in asking senators to cosponsor S. 330, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. Learn more »

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