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October 23, 2009 Home | Join Us | Jobs | eNews Archives | Forward to a Friend

Dear ,
Coming together as a community at Rally in Portland was an amazing experience. I was inspired by the energy and passion of the 1,700 land conservation leaders in attendance, especially in a year of tough economic times. If we want to go far, we must continue to work together – ensuring public trust through accreditation and easement defense, and building congressional relationships to pass new funding and tax incentives for conservation.

Looking ahead, we have some great opportunities. Never in our history have we had so much support in Congress. Thanks to your hard work, 250 Representatives from 49 states have endorsed making the easement incentive permanent as co-sponsors of H.R. 1831. Now is the best chance we have to make it permanent, before it expires on December 31. More

Rand Wentworth

Rand Wentworth
President, Land Trust Alliance


Rally in Review

What do you get when you gather 1,700 land conservationists in one place? Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference in Portland, OR - inspiring stories, new techniques, and a rejuvenation of thousands of diverse land conservation efforts across the country!

“We could not be more thrilled to have you here in our community as we all learn together about how we’re going to protect some of our most special places, how we mobilize citizen advocates to be able to do the job right, and how we understand the power of thoughtful comprehensive planning,” said Rally guest speaker Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). Read the full Rally wrap-up story.

Missed Something at Rally?

Download Rally session handouts, speeches, and more on RallyNet, which is open to the public until January 31, 2010. RallyNet is part of The Learning Center and is available to Alliance members, partners and select individual donors year-round. If you were a Rally presenter and haven’t sent in your materials, please e-mail them to tlc@lta.org.

Alliance Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the 2009 Land Trust Alliance Awards Program! Every day thousands of people dedicate their time and energy to the vital work of conserving land in their communities. Our awards program honors the innovative work of our member land trusts and land conservationists across the nation. This year’s winners are:

  • Kingsbury Browne Award: Jamie Williams, The Nature Conservancy - Northern Rockies Initiative
  • National Land Trust Excellence Award: Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
  • National Conservation Service Award: Dr. Howard A. Corwin, Greater Lovell Land Trust

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Four Newly Accredited Land Trusts Bring Total to 82

Accreditation Awards
 at RallyCongratulations to the four newly accredited land trusts, bringing the total to 82. The Alliance is proud of all our member land trusts that have achieved this important distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, made the announcement in September and recognized the 2009 group at Rally. See the full list of accredited land trusts here or on the back inside cover of the next Saving Land magazine.

$1.4 Million Awarded for Land Conservation in NY

NYSCPPThe Alliance is excited to announce more than $1.4 million in New York State Conservation Partnership Program grants available this year. A total of 65 grants to 47 land trusts will be awarded, which will help create land trust jobs, strengthen key partnerships with local and state governments, and support programming that advances farm and watershed protection and other community projects across the state.

The Alliance and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation made the announcement in October. This is the seventh round of state investment in Alliance programs totaling $4.5 million. More

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Next Step for Permanent Easement Incentive, Ask Your Rep to Sign New Letter

 MapThe House Land Conservation Caucus is gathering signatures on a new letter urging House Leadership to prioritize making the easement incentive permanent this year. Please call the Capitol Switchboard today at 202-224-3121 and urge your Representative to sign on by contacting Jesse Young in the office of Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT). If your Rep is among the 250 co-sponsors of H.R. 1831, signing this letter should be an easy ask. If not, urge him or her to co-sponsor as well! More

Help Set Alliance Policy Priorities for 2010

Each year, the Land Trust Alliance's Policy Advisory Council invites all Alliance members to help set our public policy priorities for the year ahead. The purpose of the Alliance is to help you conserve land -- and you are the best judge of what public policy work will help you most. Please review our policy options memo. Then send your to policy@lta.org by October 30. Thanks!

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Got a Board? Make it Stronger!

One of the key discussion topics at last week’s Board Member Summit at Rally in Portland was “How do we strengthen our board and plan for the future?” To answer these questions and more, join us for our upcoming 4-week curriculum topics in-depth course, Preparing for Perpetuity: Building Your Board, with Marc Smiley.

Learn in detail how to build and sustain an effective board, as well as create a work plan for board development. Held each week from October 28-November 18, this unique online training is only $150 for Alliance members ($299 for non-members). More


Tax Court Upholds Substantial Compliance Test for Gift Letters

In recent months, we’ve shared news of several cases in which courts have sided with the IRS’ strict interpretation of the requirement that conservation donors obtain a letter describing their donation and declaring that no goods or services were provided in return. Land trusts should continue to send gift substantiation letters, but charities that have not sent these letters in the past might find encouragement by a recent case. In Simmons v. Commissioner, the court found that substantial compliance with the gift substantiation rules was sufficient, sharply contrasting with the strict compliance standard applied in the Bruzewicz and Gomez decisions. More

The Confidence to Say “No” When Appropriate

Steve Goodwin of the Appalachia Ohio Alliance says that “nothing is more intimidating than sitting in a farmer’s dining room and having to deny a request that compromises the conservation easement values.” When the farmer threatens legal action to force the issue, “the situation becomes very tense.” Appalachia Ohio Alliance has responsibility for 30 conservation easements, including working relationships with dozens of landowners and ownership of four parcels of land. Clyde Gosnell, board member and past president says that “this has been a serious first 7 years with a steep learning curve and legal challenges.”

See how Steve and Clyde handled these challenges.

Over 100 Land Trusts Commit to Conservation Defense Insurance

In just one month, the number of land trusts committing to the proposed conservation defense insurance program has leapt from 30 land trusts and 13% of the 12,000 conservation easements and fee land needed to make the program feasible, to more than 100 land trusts and more than 40% of the necessary commitments. See the list of the first land trusts to join the collective defense and permanence effort. We are all in this together! More

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eNews is edited and produced by Francesca Dalleo, Communications Specialist at the Alliance.

This issue was sent to: archive_email@informz.net

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>> Rally in Review
>> Missed Something at Rally?
>> Alliance Award Winners Announced
>> Four Newly Accredited Land Trusts Bring Total to 82
>> $1.4 Million Awarded for Land Conservation in NY
>> Next Step for Permanent Easement Incentive, Ask Your Rep to Sign New Letter
>> Help Set Alliance Policy Priorities for 2010
>> Got a Board? Make it Stronger!
>> Tax Court Upholds Substantial Compliance Test for Gift Letters
>> The Confidence to Say “No” When Appropriate
>> Over 100 Land Trusts Commit to Conservation Defense Insurance


Rally Sing Along

We had a great sing-along at the Land Trust Celebration on Tuesday night at Rally. See more photos like this one!

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October is almost gone! Receive 20% off of all Curriculum books this month.
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New Curriculum BookHow do you ensure that land conservation values are protected once it leaves your control?

Find out in Selling and Transferring Land and Conservation Easements

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Ranches of Colorado

John Fielder spent two years photographing 50 ranches in Colorado, many of which are protected properties. A portion of the proceeds from his new book will go to help support land trusts in the state.

More >>

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