|Click to view this email in a browser February 2011|
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 NewsJob Openings
The Land Conservancy of West Michigan (Grand Rapids) seeks a Stewardship Coordinator and a seasonal Stewardship Crew Member. Learn More
Project HighlightsSouthwest 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 moreEvents 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
Land Trust Alliance On-Line Trainings
Engaging the Board and Key Volunteers in Fundraising
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
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
For other organizational training opportunities throughout the state, check out the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Statewide Training Calendar: http://www.mnaonline.org/training.aspx
In This Issue
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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Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy
300 N. Bridge St.
Grand Ledge, Michigan 48837
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