In state and federal policy issues, we represent the interests of land trusts and work to advance conservation in Oregon.
Every year COLT’s board of directors develops a policy platform to guide our collective work.
Top State Policy Priorities 2020
With our coalition, we're actively working to secure dedicated funding in 2020. Oregon’s farm and ranch lands provide an economic and cultural cornerstone for the state. They also support critical habitat for fish and wildlife. In 2017, the legislature passed the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program to provide a suite of grants to support the conservation of farm and ranch lands. Now funding is needed to implement the program and leverage the federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program authorized and funded in the 2018 Farm Bill. Learn more about OAHP
In 2020, COLT will work to advance carbon reduction programs and opportunities. Also, we recognize Oregon’s lands and waters play a critical role in storing and sequestering carbon and by conserving natural and working lands, land trusts can help fight the climate crisis.
On an ongoing basis, COLT will respond proactively to significant legislative and administrative threats and opportunities that impact private lands conservation.
Other State Priorities We Support 2020
We support the state's 100-year Water Vision and the role natural lands play in keeping water clean for people and wildlife. We urge the legislature to set aside the necessary resources to support the state’s water needs assessment, analysis and prioritization process in the next biennium.
The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) funding protects and restores healthy watersheds and natural habitats for future generations. We support the OWEB budget and grant program.
Federal policy priorities 2019
The bipartisan Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act would halt the abuse of the enhanced conservation easement tax incentive by promoting conservation easement donations as a way for investors to make a fast profit. COLT hopes to recruit Oregon Delegation to co-sponsor. Learn More
PCSRF funds assist in cooperative public and private efforts to conserve, restore and recover listed or at-risk Pacific salmon populations and their habitats. This provides for more than 20% of OWEB’s budget.
COLT supports legislation to allow for qualified non-profit land trusts to hold the interests in land conservation easements financed in part by the Forest Legacy funds if a state voluntarily chooses to elect this option.