Federal Policy Issues

Several federal programs have a direct influence on the work of land trusts and private land conservation in Wisconsin, creating incentives for land owners and important matching funds for land protection deals. Photo courtesy of Gil Glib.

Jul 17, 2014

In Historic Vote, House Passes Permanent Conservation Tax Incentive

In a historic vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to make permanent an enhanced tax incentive for the donation of conservation easements. The bill, which included a package of other charity provisions, passed by a vote of 277-130.

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Jul 15, 2014

House to Vote on Conservation Easement Tax Incentive

Congressional House leadership has scheduled a vote on July 16 or 17 on a bill to permanently enact several charitable tax incentives, including H.R. 2807, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. The bill will come to the House floor as part of a larger charities package.

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Jul 02, 2014

House Vote on the Conservation Tax Incentive Coming

The House Ways and Means Committee has filed its report on H.R. 2807, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. That means they are getting ready for a vote by the full House! We need to be ready, too!

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Jun 24, 2014

Schedule Set for Conservation Local Working Group Meetings in Wisconsin

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the schedule for Local Working Group meetings for 2014. Twenty meetings will be held across Wisconsin this summer to gather input and help set priorities for USDA conservation programs under the new Farm Bill.

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May 02, 2014

NRCS starts signup for ag land, wetland conservation easements

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for its new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program.

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Feb 18, 2014

Opportunities to Learn About the New Farm Bill

Our conservation partners, the Land Trust Alliance and American Farmland Trust, are providing opportunities to learn about the new Farm Bill and how program changes will impact land trusts.

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Feb 05, 2014

Senate Passes Farm Bill

The United States Senate has passed the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill, by a strong bipartisan vote of 68 to 32. The bill is now cleared to be sent to the White House for the President to sign, which he is expected to do.

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Jan 29, 2014

U.S. House Passes Farm Bill: $1.3 Billion for Working Farms and Forests

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a new Farm Bill that provides more than one billion dollars for saving working farms, forests, and ranchland. It also allows the Secretary of Agriculture to waive the cash match requirement for land trusts.

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Jan 16, 2014

Coalition: Spending Bill ‘Significant Victory for Millions Who Depend on Great Lakes’

The U.S. Congress released its 2014 spending bill earlier this week. The bill restores funding to two essential Great Lakes programs. It provides $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; the program received $285 million in 2013. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is set to receive $1.44 billion for fiscal year 2014; the program received $1.37 billion in 2013.

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Jan 10, 2014

Congressional Inaction Freezes Out Conservation Tax Incentive

The enhanced federal tax deduction for conservation easement donations expired December 31, 2013. Now more than ever we need your help persuading Congress to make permanent this incentive that has increased the pace of easement donations by a third!

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Nov 21, 2013

Congress must act to save conservation easement tax incentive

The enhanced conservation tax incentive has helped conserve one million acres per year across the United States since its passage, and it is expiring at the end of 2013. Unless Congress acts, some of the farms and forests that are the essence of America today will become the parking lots and traffic jams of tomorrow. Please make it your top priority to call your U.S. Representative and ask him or her to reach out to their colleague, Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, and ask him to “push hard for making the conservation tax incentive permanent before year’s end.”

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Oct 01, 2013

Government Shutdown:  What does it mean for conservation in Wisconsin?

The federal government shutdown is already impacting conservation in Wisconsin. Agencies like the NRCS and US Fish and Wildlife Service cannot provide services to landowners or conservation partners, and organizations that collaborate closely with federal agencies, like the Ice Age Trail Alliance, have been forced to scale back important programming.

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Aug 28, 2013

A Threat to Federal Conservation Funding

A diverse coalition of conservation, recreation and preservation organizations, including our partners The Nature Conservancy and the Land Trust Alliance, are coming together to oppose cuts to popular and successful programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Forest Legacy Program and the North American Wetlands Act (NAWCA)--and the near elimination of others like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)

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