July 17, 2009
Important Conservation Program to Expire Soon
A bi-partisan group of lawmakers is calling for an extension of a popular habitat conservation program that saves taxpayer’s money. Members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus held a briefing yesterday to promote conservation easements on private land.
“The majority of undeveloped lands for wildlife habitat – including more than 75% of the remaining wetlands in the United States – are privately held,” said Barton James, Director of Public Policy for Ducks Unlimited. “Conservation easements are a win-win solution for landowners that want to protect their land – their land is conserved and they receive a break on their taxes.”
Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus co-chairman Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.) spoke about how he personally used an easement to protect 150 acres of his family’s ranch in Oklahoma. "My family decided to place a conservation easement on our family farm to ensure that future generations would still be able to use the land for hunting and recreation,” said Boren. “It is a decision that I hope other Americans will make so that we protect an important part if our way of life.”
The legislation that allows landowners to protect their land by donating easements to conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited expires at the end of the year, prompting the briefing and subsequent letter to the entire Caucus, urging them to support extending the life of the provision.
To learn more about conservation easement donations, go to ducks.org. – Jay Cassell