You may notice a few changes to the content and look of Advocates over the next couple of months. We're recasting Advocates as a monthly newsletter, offering legislative updates, land trusts in the news, and the skinny from Washington, DC. Our goal is to become your trusted source for federal policy updates and news concerning conservation leaders like you. Have a suggestion? Email Bryan David.
|National Legislative Update Conference Call
Monday, May 13, 2pm EST
Join Alliance President Rand Wentworth this Monday for a national briefing and announcement of the conservation tax incentive bill in the House.
For dial-in information, please RSVP.
Working with our conservation champions in the House and our tax coalition partners, we�re excited to announce the reintroduction of the conservation tax incentive bill in the House. The incentive is due to expire at the end of the year, and we know that nobody can afford to have it expire again. Alliance President Rand Wentworth will be hosting a national call to provide a federal policy update and call to action to renew the incentive this year.
Interested in More? We've Got It!
The Policy and Advocacy team is excited about a new format for our communications capabilities to better convey updates and details on legislation affecting land trust policy priorities. These regular, informal bulletins will be a chance to receive more immediate action alerts and deeper looks at the Congressional sausage-making. You may have already received an email from Lynne or Sean explaining the changes, but here is the new structure, with some quick legislative updates:
Tax Issues: Russ Shay, Director of Public Policy
Russ will continue to share his mastery of tax issues and will be issuing updates and alerts on the conservation tax incentives, comprehensive tax reform, the charitable deduction & IRS programs.
- 60 organizations support renewal of the tax incentive, a broad coalition of Sportsmen's, Farming & Conservation groups. Read the letter.
Farm Bill & Ag Issues: Lynne Sherrod, Western Policy Manager
Lynne is the Alliance�s Farm Bill guru and will further share her knowledge of Ag policy and the rule-making process.
- The House & Senate will begin markup of their bills in committee next week: the Senate
on Tuesday the 14th, and the House the next day.
- Read Lynne�s latest update.
Federal Funding: Sean Robertson, Advocacy & Outreach Manager
Sean will be covering the funding beat, ensuring that programs like LWCF, NAWCA, Forest Legacy & Section 6 grants retain their funding levels.
If you would like to stay informed with one or all of these groups, please sign up online.
Land Trusts In the News:
- Easement Incentive Champion Retires: Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) recently announced that he would be retiring at the end of 2014, after 26 years in the Senate. Senator Baucus has been a long time champion of land conservation and land trusts as the primary sponsor of the conservation tax incentive bill. Help support his legacy and thank him for his service by pushing for the passage of the tax incentive bill.
- Farewell & Welcome: Secretary Ken Salazar recently retired after serving four years in the top position at the Dept. of Interior. Reflecting on his time in DC, Salazar said that one of his proudest achievements has been with private landowners to protect their land in perpetuity with easements. �We have worked with the ranchers to make sure this is a way to protect the ranching heritage way of life and also enhance the conservation values of the United States. I think we have brought in that public-private cooperation in conservation at an all-time high.� The Alliance thanks Salazar for his service and commitment to conservation, and look forward to working with new Secretary Sally Jewell.
- Budget Targets Land Trust Interests: President Obama's FY 2014 budget request includes 28% cap on charitable deductions. While we helped to defeat a proposed cap on deductions last December during the fiscal cliff debate at the Congressional level, the fight isn�t over. President Obama still supports a cap as part of broader tax reform and deficit reduction.
Thanks for being a land trust advocate!
Your Policy Team
Russ Shay, Director of Public Policy, 202-800-2230 | Email
Barton James, Conservation Campaign Director, 202-800-2239 | Email
Lynne Sherrod, Western Policy Manager, 970-487-9924 | Email
Sean Robertson, Advocacy & Outreach Manager, 202-800-2229 | Email
Bryan David, Public Policy Associate, 202-800-2223 | Email
Advocates edited by Bryan David