Spring 2005
Vol. 13 No. 1
"Vision without action is only a dream. Action without vision only passes time. Vision with action can change the world." - Joel Baker

In this issue...

Reflections from the President

Annual Meeting Features Community Participation

Conservation Donations in Peril

Nature Area

Looking for Deer Resistant Plants?

More Than Just a Snappy Name

Red-Winged Blackbird

Did you know?

Upcoming Events...

March 18
Work Day
BASF Lot (To cut down phragmites)

March 24
Environmental Achievement Award Presented
Detroit Athletic Club

April 2
Nature Area Reopens

April 7
Emerald Ash Borer Conference
7:00 PM
Township Hall
Merle Solomon Room

March 24
Earth Day Celebration
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Nature Area

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Conservation Donations in Peril
by Bruce Jones

At The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) recommended slashing tax deductions for conservation donations. This would seriously jeopardize monies which support GINLC. Land trust leaders from throughout the country have responded quickly to keep these recommendations from becoming law, and you may want to help.

Many concerned citizens have had remarkable success reaching out to members of Congress. More than 200 members of Congress received visits, letters, emails, faxes, and phone calls from people opposing the Joint Committee on Taxation's recent recommendations. Land trust leaders have met face to face with key Senators, Representatives, and their staffs.

In Washington, the national conservation organizations have been convened to work on this issue. They are drafting a joint letter, are meeting with Senators and Representatives, and are helping land trust leaders in key states to visit Washington.

This is a great start, but it is crucial that we continue this push for many months. It now seems likely that this year's Congress will make major changes to the rules governing conservation donations-not just donations of conservation easements-butdonations of land as well.

It is extremely important that they know that the people they represent oppose the changes recommended by the Joint Committee. It is imperative that our lawmakers understand what is at stake: the future of private land conservation in America.

How can you help?

1. Get people to contact your Senators and Representatives
Board members, donors, volunteers, and government partners should write letters. (Government agencies also depend on federal deductions to leverage scarce public funds.)

2. Ask people who have a relationship with our Senators and Representatives to contact them about this issue
Senators and Representatives are just like every-one else-they pay the most attention to people they know and trust. Email ProtectPrivateConservation@lta.org about people you find who have such a relationship, and are willing to use it to help.

3. Follow Up
If you wrote an email or a letter, make a phone call. If you called, ask for a meeting. If you had a meeting, send a follow-up thank you letter and ask if they have responded to your request. At each point, ask your Senators or Congressperson if they would write a letter to the Senate Finance or House Ways and Means Committee, opposing the JCT proposals on conservation donations. (You can find a sample letter at ProtectPrivateConservation@lta.org)

4. Keep Your State Network Informed
The Land Trust Association has organized a stateby-state network to help you reach out. Visit LTA's website for the contact in your state, and let them know what you have done.

5. Stay Informed
Check out www.lta.org/publicpolicy/ppc.htm <http://www.lta.org/publicpolicy/ppc.htm> for the latest information. For more detail, sign up for ADVOCATES email alerts at the LTA website.

6. Send Your Suggestions
Contact ProtectPrivateConservation@lta.org with suggestions, ideas, and questions.