To the Editor: Senators urged to support conservation act
Written by Kevin Joyce   
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 08:34
I enjoyed the recent PBS special about the national parks and am sure many of your readers did, too. But our community also should know that, right now, Congress is working on another important land conservation issue.
New legislation pending in the House of Representatives, championed by Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, will preserve a critical tool for land conservation in our area. The Conservation Easement Incentive Act, H.R. 1831, seeks to make permanent a tax incentive for conservation that would otherwise expire at the end of 2009.
This incentive protects clean water, natural areas and working family farms by enhancing the federal tax benefits for landowners who donate conservation easements to organizations like ours. These agreements help conserve natural resources important to northwest Ohio while keeping land in productive private ownership.
The enhanced incentive has proven effective, helping land trusts across the country conserve 535,000 more acres in 2006 and 2007 than in the two years prior to its enactment. Black Swamp Conservancy joins America's 1,700 other land trusts and their two million supporters in calling on Congress to make this important conservation tool permanent this year.
We hope that Senators George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown will show the same support for land conservation as Rep. Latta, and co-sponsor the Senate's Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act, S. 812, as well.
Thanks to generous and thoughtful landowners and a helping hand from Congress, we'll be able to conserve even more land for years to come.
Kevin Joyce
Executive Director
Black Swamp Conservancy

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