On April 9-11 the Forest Society participated with more than 100 members of the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) from around the country in LTA Advocacy Days in Washington DC. The primary goal of the DC visit was to reach out to our two United States Senators and our two members of the House of Representatives on three federal issues of great concern to LTA and to the Forest Society.
The three issues are: 1) legislation to prevent what we (and the IRS) believe are abuses of the IRS charitable deduction for donations of conservation land by large investor syndicates trying to reap windfall profits off the charitable deduction, 2) reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund which expires on September 30, 2018 absent Congressional action, and 3) a new Farm Bill authorization needed for the five federal fiscal years starting October 1, 2018.
Issue profiles with details for each of these issues can be found at these links:
Senator Shaheen and Congresswoman Kuster have agreed to co-sponsor the tax legislation (S.2436 in the Senate and HR 4459 in the House). We are working with staff at the offices of Senator Hassan and Congresswoman Shea-Porter to encourage them to do the same.
All four members of NH’s Congressional delegation have been strong supporters of reauthorizing and fully funding the LWCF. We are concerned that if Congress does not vote to reauthorize LWCF before September 30 this year there is a chance the program and its funding could be lost for good. Senator Shaheen has teamed up with Republican Senator Richard Burr (of North Carolina) to seek a strong bi-partisan coalition of senators to support both reauthorization and robust funding for the next federal fiscal year.
Similarly, all four members of our delegation have been strong supporters of USDA investment in land conservation through the five year Farm Bill authorization. Congresswoman Kuster serves on the House Agriculture Committee, where she has been actively engaged in drafting the new Farm Bill.