TLC and the land trust community are actively supporting the following actions:
Charitable Conservation Easement Integrity Act. To encourage conservation, the federal government implemented a federal tax incentive that allows conservation-minded landowners to use the value of a conservation easement as a charitable tax deduction. Unfortunately, a few bad actors have found a way to exploit this system for over $36+ billion in unwarranted tax deductions. The Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act (S. 2256 / H.R. 4164) will shut down these abusive tax shelters while making sure these incentives stay true to the conservation intent.
President Biden’s 30×30 Executive Order. This ambitious and necessary measure to protect 30% of the United State’s land and ocean areas by 2030 will allow us to ensure clean air, water, food, and quality of life for Americans and combat the destructive results of climate change. One of the best ways to achieve these goals is by amplifying existing and voluntary conservation efforts at the local level. Providing increased support for land trusts and the private landowners we work with will be a necessary part of accomplishing the 30×30 goal.
Growing Climate Solutions Act. Last week, the Senate passed the bipartisan and bicameral Growing Climate Solutions Act with a vote of 92-8. The bill is now moving to the House. This bill will make it easier for forest owners to participate in voluntary carbon markets.
Civilian Conservation Corps. Several members of Congress have recently introduced legislation that involves a modern reimplementation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC could help end the current unemployment crisis by, among other things, addressing the backlog of park maintenance needs, restoring habitats, and addressing other land stewardship needs on publicly and privately protected lands, including those managed by land trusts.
Farm Bill. The current Farm Bill provides funding through conservation programs for land restoration and management and for the purchase of conservation easements on agricultural lands, grasslands, wetlands, and forested lands. There is more demand for these programs than there is current funding. A proposed legislative package addressing climate and infrastructure could as much as double the funding for these Farm Bill conservation programs if passed.
If you have addition questions about policy issues or legislation, contact TLC’s Conservation Director Ellen Gass at firstname.lastname@example.org.