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February 2010

Policy Update


Conservation Easement Tax Deductions
Heart of the Lakes continues to communicate with the Michigan Congressional Delegation regarding legislation that would make permanent the enhanced deduction for qualified conservation easements. We recently learned that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) intends to bring a jobs creation bill that would not include extenders of expiring provisions, including the deduction for conservation easements. Heart of the Lakes has communicated its disappointment in this new development to the Congressional delegation, and suggested the estate tax package as the most promising vehicle to make the enhanced deduction permanent. Read more


Tax Exemption for Conservation Donations Made by Will
Heart of the Lakes is advocating for the passage of SB 783 (Sen. Michelle McManus, R-Lake Leelanau), important legislation that would expand the property tax exemption to conservation easements and qualified conservation contributions made by will. Heart of the Lakes and certain member conservancies have been urging Senator Nancy Cassis (R-Novi), Chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee, to assign a hearing to this bill. Read more
Commercial Forestry Act Withdrawal Fee
The House Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources Committee has put review of HB 5681 (Rep. Darwin Booher, R-Evart) on hold while a new bill is drafted to address concerns put forth by the Michigan Department of Treasury and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The original bill allowed public bodies that have purchased commercial forestland for public use to waive the fee required for withdrawal from the commercial forestry program. Read more
Farmland Preservation Incentives
Heart of the Lakes has resumed efforts to promote the passage of HB 4158 (Rep. Jeff Mayes, D-Bay City), which would create a new incentive for farmland preservation. Deliberation of the bill was put on hold as the House Agriculture Committee made the transition to new committee chair Representative Mike Huckleberry (D-Greenville) after the unexpected death of Representative Mike Simpson. Read more

Member News

Michigan Conservancies Reach Half Million Acre Mark!

After tallying the numbers from the annual Heart of the Lakes Protected Acres Survey, we are pleased and excited to announce that our members, surpassed an all-time half million acres protected! As of December 31, 2009 our member land conservancies have protected a total of 509,125 acres of natural, scenic and working farms and forest lands throughout Michigan. Read More

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Michigan and other land conservancies in the Great Lakes Basin successfully made the case for permanent land acquisition and protection agreements as one restoration strategy in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s (GLRI) Action Plan. The Action Plan is the framework for determining how federal dollars will be spent over the five years of the GLRI to “help protect and restore the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem.” Read More

Events and Training

Advancing Conservancy Excellence

Ask A Fundraising Expert—Board Campaigns:Getting Your Board to Give

Featuring David Allen of Development for Conservation LLC

Free Conference CallPlease register!

Friday, March 5, 10:00 – 11:00 am       
Ask An Attorney/Expert Conference Call

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

Land Trust Alliance On-Line Trainings

March 3, 2:00 to 3:30 pm ET, $50 per connection
Building and Managing Effective Board Structures and Committees

March 17, 1:00 pm ET, Complimentary
Introduction to Land Trust Accreditation

March 18, 1:00 pm ET AND March 23, 2010, 3:00 pm ET, Complimentary
In-Depth—The Pre-Application Process

March 24, 2:00 pm ET, $50 per connection
Successful Organizational Recordkeeping for Land Trusts

March 25, 7:00 pm ET, $50 per connection
Conservation Easement Monitoring

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

Other Training Opportunities:
Board Connect -Online

March 10, 2010, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, $39 per connection
Webinar:  Serving on a Nonprofit Board

March 30, 2010, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, $39 per connection
Webinar:  Building Your Board

Michigan Nonprofit Association

March 9, 2010, 10 am to 12 noon, $40 MNA members, $50 non-members
Webinar:  Choosing a Database
See this and all MNA trainings at:
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In This Issue:
           Policy Update
         Conservancy News
        Events and 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  |

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