COLT’s weekly land trust news
January 4, 2016
Happy New Year everyone!
We hope everyone had a peaceful and content holiday season, and are ready for a great new year. Let’s conserve more green in 2016!
A few things first off:
As you see from the photo above, COLT is currently soliciting candidate cover photos for our State of the Lands report. If you have any photos of properties your land trust has conserved this year (or earlier) and would like to submit them for consideration, please let me know by January 15th. In particular, we are interested in photos of people in landscapes.
Senators Wyden and Merkley both have a number of town halls they are offering around the state from January 5th – 9th. Here’s a quick run down:
- Senator Wyden (for details: https://www.wyden.senate.gov/oregon/events)
- Wasco County: January 5th 9:15am
- Wheeler County: January 5th: 1:30pm
- Gilliam County: January 5th 4:30pm
- Sherman County: January 6th 10am
- Hood River County: January 6th 1:30pm
- Clackamas County: January 7th 10am
- Multnomah County: January 7th 1pm
- Lane County: January 8th 12:45pm
- Lincoln County: January 8th 4:30pm
- Tillamook County: January 9th 11am
- Clatsop County: January 9th 3:30pm
- Senator Merkley (for details: http://www.merkley.senate.gov/events/town-halls)
- Jefferson County: January 5th 11am
- Crook County: January 5th 3pm
- Deschutes County: January 5th 6:30pm
- Lake County: January 6th 10:30am
- Klamath County: January 6th 3:30pm
- Jackson County: January 7th 9am
- Josephine County: January 7th 12pm
- Curry County: January 7th 5pm
- Coos County: January 8th 9am
- Douglas County: January 8th 12:30pm
- Benton County: January 9th 10am
- Linn County: January 9th 1:30pm
- Lane County: January 9th 4pm
For the land trust community, these town halls are, in part, an opportunity to thank the Senators for their efforts to renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as remind them that the work is not yet finished. As Sen Wyden recently stated to COLT, “I am gratified that vital protections for natural treasures in Oregon and nationwide [with the temporary reauthorization of LWCF] have won the bipartisan support they so richly deserve…. Oregonians expect these protections should eventually become permanent, and I will continue the fight to accomplish just that.”
If any land trust is interested in attending a town hall and would like the latest talking points on LWCF and other federal issues pertinent to land trusts, please let us know.
In case you missed it in a past Monday e-news, Congress made the enhanced conservation tax incentive permanent at the end of 2015. This is a big victory for land trusts and landowners, as these strong incentives will now be the norm going forward. Be sure to keep this in mind as you work with landowners and professionals in your work. As a quick summary, the permanent easement incentive:
- Raises the maximum federal income tax deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in any year to 50%.
- Allows qualified farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their AGI.
- Increases the number of years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years.
Finally, Kelley and I would like to thank all of you who generously donated to COLT in 2015!! It is always very touching and meaningful to see such donations come in. Thank you!
All the very best,
P.S. Reminder that our next board meeting is set for February 25th and 26th in Eugene.