Policy and Action Items

Below are some of the timely issues COLT is working on, along with actions you can take to support land conservation in Oregon.

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) meetings

OWEB meetings quarterly around Oregon to consider funding for conservation projects, including the acquisition of conservation easement and fee title. The next Board meeting schedule and, when available, agendas and staff reports can be found here here.

Enhanced tax incentive for conservation easements – Fact Sheet

The critical federal tax incentive program, first passed by Congress in 2006, provides landowners with the ability to deduct a greater proportion of the value of a donated conservation easement from their taxes. Because of this increased financial incentive, donations of conservation easements nationally increased by a third to over one million acres a year after this program was passed, testifying to the effectiveness of this incentive-based approach to conservation. Although it has been extended a few times, Congress unfortunately once again allowed the program to expire on December 31st, 2014. The Land Trust Alliance has made the re-authorization of this incentive program, ideally making it permanent, its top legislative priority for 2015.

What you can do:

COLT has been assisting in this effort, as Oregon’s Senator Ron Wyden is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which will play an important role in the incentive’s reauthorization. For a infosheet and more information that COLT has put together, please click the image on the right. To contact Senator Wyden’s office, see this link.

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

We have a page dedicated to this top legislative priority for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts. You can visit it here.