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

State Policy Update

Senate Appropriations Committee Reports Capital Outlay Bill
 
On February 23rd, the House Appropriations Committee quickly reported the capital outlay bill, HB 4292 , sponsored by Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake), which includes $102 million in funding for 117 projects recommended by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board last year. The Senate version of the bill, SB 140, sponsored by Darwin Booher (R-Evart), was passed by the full Senate, as well.

The bills include language that would allow the Department of Natural Resources to waive the requirement that agreements between local units of government and the state occur only after proof of acquisition or proof of completion of the development project is submitted by the local government. This could reduce the financial burden on local governments to purchase property before the agreements are finalized. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 
State Natural Resources Budget relies on Recreation Passport Revenue

Governor Snyder’s 2011-2012 budget for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources relies on a 30% participation rate in the state’s recreation passport program, which allows Michigan residents renewing their license plates to opt to purchase a $10 pass to the state parks. Currently, about 20% of people renewing their license plates are opting in. The passport money goes to state parks, forest recreation and local grants. Read More

Governor Unveils Budget Proposal

Michigan nonprofits are casting a wary eye on Governor Snyder’s proposed budget released last week. The Governor is recommending that "all credits and deductions related to the individual income tax, with the exception of the personal exemption, the exemption for individuals with disabilities, special provisions dealing with military personnel and veterans, the homestead property tax credit and a few other subtractions, be eliminated."  Read More
 
Heart of the Lakes Meets with Legislators
 
On Thursday, February 24th, Heart of the Lakes’ Program and Policy Coordinator Meredith Johnson presented an overview of the work of Heart of the Lakes and its member land conservancies to the Michigan Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee. Since the beginning of the year, HOL staff has also met one on one with 18 key legislators, speaking with them about the importance of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, farmland preservation, and tax incentives for conservation. We look forward to meeting with more key legislators and for connecting some of them with members during Michigan Land Conservancy Day on March 2nd!

Federal Policy Upate

New Bills Introduced for Federal Conservation Easement Incentive
 
Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) recently re-introduced legislation to make the enhanced federal tax incentive permanent for qualified conservation easements. In December, Congress extended the incentives but only through 2011. S. 339 picks up the effort of previous years to make the incentives permanent. The House is also expected to introduce legislation soon, Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) are seeking co-sponsors. Heart of the Lakes and its members will be asking the Michigan delegation to sign on as co-sponsors. Tax incentive bills will have to go through the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Michigan Congressman Dave Camp who has been a champion of the incentives in the past. Learn More

Member News

Member News

Job Openings

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan (Grand Rapids) seeks a Stewardship Coordinator and a seasonal Stewardship Crew Member. Learn More

HeadWaters Land Conservancy (Gaylord) seeks an Executive Director. Learn More

The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (Traverse City) is seeking a Volunteer Program and Communications Specialist. Learn More

Legacy Land Conservancy (Ann Arbor) is looking for a volunteer Volunteer Coordinator. Learn More

Project Highlights

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, working with Ducks Unlimited, reccently received a $500,000 grant through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to save 2,000 acres of wetlands in southwest Michigan. Read more.

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy was awarded a grant from the Bay Area Community Foundation to help raise public awareness about the Chippewa River Watershed. Read more

Events and Training

Heart of the Lakes

Michigan Land Conservancy Day (For Member Land Conservancies)
March 2, 2011, Downtown Lansing

There is still time to register!

March to One Million: Heart of the Lakes' Sixth Annual Summit
March 3, 2011, Downtown Lansing
There is still time to join us for the premier gathering of Michigan’s land conservancies! Learn more about our full agenda and session descriptions.

 
Advancing Conservancy Excellence

Ask An Expert
It Takes a Year for a Strong Year-End Appeal: Tips and Pointers to Making This a Great Year
Friday, March 8, 2011, 10 am to 11 am, no cost
Led by Judy Anderson, Principal, Community Consultants
Call Julie for details, 517.927.2546, ext. 6

Rescheduled: 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 to 3:00 pm, no cost
Save the Date—Location TBD

Communication Planning for Conservation Organizations
Save the Date for this day-long workshop led by Megan Thomas of Firsthand Coaching. Participants will learn how to better plan, integrate and execute communication activities, as well as about new emerging media techniques.
Friday, April 29, Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville

Land Trust Alliance On-Line Trainings

Engaging the Board and Key Volunteers in Fundraising
Instructor: Marc Smiley
March 2, 1011, 7:00 pm ET, $55.00

Accounting and Reporting Challenges: Conservation Easements and Restricted Gifts
Instructor: Kay Sohl
March 9, 2011, 7:00 pm ET, $55

The Stewardship Network

The Stewardship Network Webinar Series

Communications for Nurturing Stewardship
Wednesday, March 9, 11:45 to 1 pm, no cost
 
Institute for Conservation Leadership

eDollars-Spring 2011

March 3, 2011 – April 15, 2011, $685 (discount for LTA members)
Seven week, five session, distance learning webinar series with personalized consulting to achieve online fundraising goals
 
Conservation Finance Forum
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: http://www.mnaonline.org/training.aspx
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In This Issue
 
Policy Update
 
Member News
 
Events & Training
 
 
 

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Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy

300 N. Bridge Street, Grand Ledge, MI 48837  |  517.925.8649  |  www.heartofthelakes.org





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