Click to view this email in a browser                                       March 2011
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Policy Update

State Policy Update

Capital Outlay Bill Passes both Houses

On March 23, the Michigan House of Representatives approved SB 140, sponsored by Darwin Booher (R-Evart), the capital outlay bill that includes $102 million in funding for 117 projects recommended by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board last year. Heart of the Lakes member land conservancies are active partners on several of the land acquisition projects. Governor Snyder, who listed this legislation as a priority in his State of the State address, is expected to sign the bill within the next week or two. Read More.

State Land Cap Bills Under Consideration
In early March, Heart of the Lakes testified before the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee against SB 248, sponsored by Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba), which would cap the number of acres the State of Michigan can own at 4,475,000 acres (a number that may not accurately reflect the acreage actually owned by the state). For any new land acquisition, the cap would require the Department to sell state-owned parcels of equal size. Read More.

Federal Policy Update

U.S. Senate Ag Committee's First Farm Bill Hearing Set for Michigan

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) announced today that the committee's first Farm Bill hearing will be held held on April 9, 2011 at the Kellogg Center, Michigan State University in East Lansing, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

The hearing, “Opportunities for Growth: Michigan and the 2012 Farm Bill,” will focus on the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill, examining agriculture as well as energy, conservation, rural development, research, forestry and nutrition policies that affect Michigan, Stabenow said in a news release. For more information, contact Sen. Stabenow's agriculture staff: Ilana Levinson (ilana_levinson@stabenow.senate) or Chris Adamo (

Member News

Conservation in Action
With spring comes the reminder of planting and the critical role farmland plays in Michigan’s economy and community place-making. This month we feature just a few recent farmland protection projects undertaken by Heart of the Lakes’ member land conservancies.

The Frederick Farm

The Frederick Farm is a 100-acre, beautiful, historic farm and a landmark for generations in the Ann Arbor region. Thanks to The Ann Arbor Greenbelt, Lodi Township and Legacy Land Conservancy this historic farm will be preserved. Read more.

Sonny Swanson Farm

The Leelanau Conservancy took ownership this month of the 90-acre Sonny Swanson farm with its 2,000 feet of natural shoreline in Leelanau County. It is a well-loved landmark and critically important to the water quality of Little Traverse Lake according to Executive Director, Brian Price. Read more.

Over 6,000 Acres Protected Forever

Take a trip up north without leaving your chair and wander the spectacular farmlands protected by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. Over 6,000 acres protected forever. Click here.

Farmland in Mid-Michigan

The Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy protects farmland in several counties. To see some of their projects and to learn more about the organization, click here.

Member News

2010 Annual Protected Acres Survey

Heart of the Lakes is proud to announce that our 2010 Annual Acres Protected Survey found that our 28 member land conservancies have collectively protected 548,318 acres as of December 31, 2010. Learn More

Job Openings

HeadWaters Land Conservancy (Gaylord) seeks a dynamic leader with a passion for conservation to fill their Executive Director position. HeadWaters serves counties in Northeast Lower Michigan. Position is open until filled. Learn More.

Chikaming Open Lands (Lakeside) is seeking an Executive Director to provide organizational leadership in their mission of protecting the open space and natural character in the Galien River watershed and southwest Berrien County. Contact for the full listing. Deadline for application is April 8, 2011.

Conservation Buyers Sought

Private conservation easement property, including a farmhouse and 48 acres, is for sale in Southwest Michigan. Learn More.

Volunteer for a Land Conservancy Near You

Itching to get outside and do good work for conservation this Spring?  Michigan’s land conservancies rely on volunteers to help them “steward” nature preserves and sanctuaries. Find Your Conservancy and check out volunteer opportunities near you.

Events and Training

Land Trust Alliance, Heart of the Lakes, Gathering Waters
Ask An Expert Conference Call
How to Talk with Farmers and Ranchers
Friday, April 8, 2011, 10
11 am, no cost
Registration closes Wednesday, April 6
Instructor: Lynne Sherrod, Land Trust Alliance

Advancing Conservancy Excellence
Land Conservancy Executive Directors Peer Gathering
Featuring Keith Ross, LandVest Senior Advisor, and Helen Taylor, State Director, The Nature Conservancy in Michigan
Tuesday, April 19, 10:00 am
– 3:00 pm, no cost
Ann Arbor REI
Registration Deadline: Friday, April 15
Land Conservancy Communications, Outreach and Education Peer Gathering
Featuring Deb Fellows, Editor-In-Chief, MyNorth Media
Thursday, April 28, 1:00 – 5:00 pm, no cost
Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville

Communications Planning for Conservation Organizations
Instructor:  Megan Thomas, The Sustainable Agency
Friday, April 29, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville
$55 ACE participants, $75 Others
(Note:  workshop is open to all conservation and environmental nonprofit organizations)

Land Trust Alliance Online
Strategies for Increasing Membership Funding and Building Long-Term Community Support for Conservation
Instructor: Judy Anderson
Wednesday, April 6, 2:00 pm ET, $55 per connection

Appraising Conservation Easements
Instructor: Mark Weston
Wednesday, April 13, 2:00 pm ET, $55 per connection

The Stewardship Network
The Stewardship Network Webinar Series
Garlic Mustard and the 2011 Challenge Kick-Off
Wednesday, April 13, 11:45
1 pm, no cost

Conservation Finance Forum
Yale Conservation Finance Camp
June 6 – 10, 2011, Yale University, $1,000

Other Training Opportunities:   
For other organizational training opportunities throughout the state, check out the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Statewide Training Calendar:
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In This Issue
Policy Update
Member News
Events & Training

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Grand Ledge, Michigan 48837

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