American Hunters and Anglers Support House Push to Expand Conservation Tax Incentives

WASHINGTON – The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) today indicated its support for the strategies contained in bi-partisan legislation introduced this week by Congressmen Mike Thompson of California and Dave Camp of California. Their measure, H.R. 1576, is designed to ensure that a temporary tax incentive for conservation by family farmers and ranchers keeps on working. The 2006 law, which allowed modest-income landowners to benefit from voluntarily protecting important natural, historic and agricultural resources on their land, was set to expire at the end of this year. H.R. 1576 would make the law permanent and parallels similar senate legislation (S. 469) introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus in late January. “Congressmen Thompson and Camp’s bill, by providing real incentives for land conservation, will help farmers and ranchers protect the best, not only in California and Michigan, but across the country,” said Rand Wentworth, President of the Land Trust Alliance. “This measure will give more people more tools to protect more landscapes they treasure,” said TRCP Chairman James D. Range. “It’s a good bill put forth for the right reasons.” The 2006 law extends the carry-forward period for tax deductions for voluntary conservation agreements from 5 to 15 years and raises the cap on those deductions from 30 percent of a donor's adjusted gross income to 50 percent – and to 100 percent for qualifying farmers and ranchers. This allows ranchers, farmers and other modest-income landowners to get a much larger benefit for donating very valuable development rights to their land. Many of the nation’s 40 million sportsmen are intimately familiar with the benefits of conservation tax incentives and the way the groups to which they belong have used them to benefit fish and game species. Hunting- and fishing-oriented conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and Trout Unlimited have used conservation tax incentives to implement arrangements with landowners that benefit not only ducks, pheasants and trout, but a wide variety of other species. Land trusts belonging to the Alliance, including organizations like The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund and the Trust for Public Land have used easements to stabilize key habitat. In an era of tight budgets, state and federal agencies have found it difficult to conserve more land, but tax incentives have encouraged landowners to protect lands that the agencies could not afford to purchase or lease. For more information please visit: The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a coalition of leading hunting, fishing and conservation organizations and individual partners working together to guarantee access to places to hunt and fish, conserve fish and wildlife habitat, and increase funding for conservation Long Sought After Bird Spotted in Peruvian Nature Reserve