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December, 2009


Policy Update


US House Passes One-Year Extension of Federal Conservation Easement Tax Incentives
The U.S. House recently passed HR 4213, the “Tax Extenders Act of 2009” which extends for one year 49 tax incentives that were due to expire on December 31, including the expanded incentives for donations of conservation easements.  Although the bill may not be taken up by the Senate before the end of the year, it is very likely they would pass a similar bill in 2010 and make it retroactive to January 1st. Read More


Heart of the Lakes Proposes Post-Mortem Conservation Easement Language
Heart of the Lakes is working with Senator Michelle McManus (R-Lake Leelanau) to draft legislation that would allow individuals to donate conservation easements by will. Read More

Commercial Forestry Exemption Bills Introduced  

Heart of the Lakes was successful in advocating for the introduction of HB 5681 (Rep. Darwin Booher, R-Evart), a bill to allow public bodies that have purchased commercial forestland for public use to waive the fee required for withdrawal from the commercial forestry program. Read More
Governor Issues New E.O.
Governor Granholm issued a new Executive Order, Executive Order 54, changing various political and management aspects of the Department of Agriculture and the new Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Read More

State Parks Pass

The House Great Lakes and Environment Committee approved Senate bills 388 (Sen. Patty Birkholz, R-Saugatuck) and 389 (Sen. Raymond Basham, D-Taylor), part of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral proposal to replace state park fees with a replacement charge for vehicle registration. Read More



Conservancy News

Trust Fund Recommends $35.7 Million for Land and Recreation Projects, Many Supported by Michigan Land Conservancies
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund recently recommended $35.7 million for 67 land acquisition and recreation projects in 2010. The Trust Fund is a constitutionally protected fund that provides a source of funding for public acquisition of lands for resource protection and outdoor recreation. This year several projects totaling nearly $8 million benefitted from community and state partnerships with Michigan land conservancies—Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Land Conservancy of West Michigan, Little Traverse Conservancy, Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. Read More

Michigan Farm Bureau Features Leelanau’s FarmAbility Program

Leelanau Conservancy’s FarmAbility program is highlighted in Michigan Farm, a statewide farm publication for members of the Michigan Farm Bureau. Read More

Plea for Parks in SmartMoney Magazine

Kirt Manecke, founder of Heart of the Lakes Associate Member LandChoices, responds in the August 2009 issue to a SmartMoney magazine article which stated, “Frankly, there are just too many parks.” Read More

Events and Training

Advancing Conservancy Excellence
Friday, February 5, 2010, 10:00 – 11:00 am       
Ask An Attorney/Expert Conference Call
Watch for more information!

Land Trust Alliance
April 15 – 17, 2010, Columbus, OH
Midwest Regional Conference

Land Trust Alliance On-Line Trainings
January 27, 2010,  2:00 pm EST, $50 per connection
Strategies for Building and Sustaining Effective Boards

The Conservation Fund
March 8 – 12, 2010
Strategic Conservation Planning Using the Green Infrastructure Approach
National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV

Nonprofit Enterprise At Work (NEW)
January 11, 2010, 1 pm to 2 pm ET, $39
How to Get Your Board to Raise Money

The Stewardship Network
January 22 and 23, 2010
2010 Stewardship Network Conference
The Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems
Kellogg Center, E. Lansing, MI

Other Training Opportunities: Board Connect, Michigan Nonprofit Association  


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In This Issue:
          Policy Update
         Conservancy News
        Events and Training
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