Land Trusts Converging on Washington

Jamie JohansenAg Group, Government, Land

LandLand trust leaders from across the country are converging on Capitol Hill on April 2 to educate and engage Congressional members on key land conservation issues that support the nation in securing local economic sustainability, fresh food, clean water, places to recreate, and keeping family farms in the family, during the third annual Land Trust Advocacy Day sponsored by the Land Trust Alliance.

Land trust leaders will attend issue briefings and networking events before conducting more than 100 individual meetings with staff and members of Congress in the Senate and House from key districts, as well as with members on the tax, agriculture and appropriations committees to promote the economic, social and natural impacts their work has on rural, suburban and urban communities alike. Everyone from sportsmen, farmers, and ranchers, to foresters and recreationists value and seek favorable policies to support land conservation.

Last year’s meetings were instrumental in securing more than one billion dollars for a new conservation program in the Farm Bill. Land trusts have also recently celebrated an enhanced tax incentive for conservation easement donations that was included both in President Obama’s proposed budget and in the tax reform package proposed by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (MI).

Land trusts are community-based conservation organizations formed by local citizens that acquire and protect land for the benefit of their community. Strong land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources.

The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation group that works on behalf of the nation’s 1,700 land trusts to save the places people love by strengthening conservation nationwide. The Alliance works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies and training land trusts in best practices, and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats.