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March  2010

Policy Update


Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Appropriations Bill

SB 251 (Sen. McManus, R-Lake Leelanau), appropriations legislation for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF), was signed by Governor Granholm last Friday, releasing funding to support land acquisition and public recreation development projects throughout the state.
Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy advocated for swift passage of the MNRTF appropriations bill, which was made possible by separating the bill from the larger DNRE appropriations bill. Before last year, MNRTF funding could not be released until the entire DNRE budget bill was passed, which often required a lengthy negotiation process that stretched into this fall. Last year, Heart of the Lakes was a leader in advocating for separation of the MNRTF appropriations from the larger budget bill, allowing for earlier funding distribution.

Parks Legislation Signed by Governor

A package of bills (HB 4677, SB 1057, and SB 389) that allows citizens to buy $10 annual state parks permits when they register their vehicles, raising about $38 million for state parks, passed the House and Senate last week and was signed by Governor Granholm on Wednesday. Read More


Federal Tax “Extenders” Package Moves Forward

On March 10th, the U.S. Senate voted 62 to 36 to pass a package of tax "extenders" and other provisions that includes a one-year extension of the enhanced tax deduction for conservation easements. This enhanced easement incentive raises the deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of their adjusted gross income in any year to 50%, allows qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income and extends the carry-forward period of a donor to take tax deductions for voluntary conservation agreements from 5 to 15 years.  Read More

Member News

NOAA Grants $4.7 Million for Great Lakes Shoreline Sites

In March, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE) received word from the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that two key Great Lakes shoreline protection projects in Michigan will receive at total of $4.7 million in funding through NOAA’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP). Three Heart of the Lakes member land conservancies are active partners in these projects: Keweenaw Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy in Michigan, and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. Read More

Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy Featured

The March/April 2010 issue of Healing Garden Journal, a Michigan journal that supports the state of Michigan by highlighting the positive people, places and events happening in our great state, includes a cover story about the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy, a regional land conservancy serving Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties. Read their story

Project Highlight of the Month

Landowners had two goals in mind when they placed a conservation easement on their property with the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy:    Protect indigenous plants and wildlife habitat and harness the sun and wind to provide energy to their on-site living space.  Find out how they did it

Job Announcement

Legacy Land Conservancy seeks a Development and Communications Director.  Deadline for resumes is March 31, 2010 but mention you saw it in the Heart of the Lakes E-Update for a two-day extension until Friday, April 2.  

Events and Training

Advancing Conservancy Excellence

Major Gifts Development/Fundraising Workshop
Thursday, August 19 — Save the Date!
Led by David Allen, Development for Conservation, LLC
Location TBD — Watch for registration information
Land Trust Alliance
Midwest Regional Conference
April 15 – 17, 2010, Columbus, OH
Beyond the Basics of Baseline Documentation, an all day
Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices Curriculum Seminar and Field Visit

May 24, 2010 — Save the Date!
Instructor: Judy Anderson, Community Consultants
Haworth Conference Center, Holland, MI
For more info email:
Watch for registration information
Land Trust Alliance On-Line Trainings
Running an Ethical Land Trust:  Current Best Practices Involving Conflict of Interest and Whistleblower Policies
April 21, 2010, 7:00 pm ET, $50 per connection
Transactional Recordkeeping for Conservation Easements
April 28, 2010, 2:00 pm ET, $50 per connection
Real Estate Continuing Education for Assessors, Appraisers and Brokers
Land Conservation Marketplace I — Essentials for Assessors, Appraisers and Brokers
Classes offered on April 5, April 12, May 12 and May 26 in the Lansing Area, $95
(6 hour credit for assessors, 7 hours for appraisers)
Offered by the Avocet Group
For more information, or call 517-974-3064

Other Training Opportunities

Board Connect
Anatomy of a High-Performing Board
Friday, April 9, 2010, 9 am – 11 am, $45 per person
NEW Center
1100 N. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI   48104

Michigan Nonprofit Association
Tech Essentials--WEBINAR
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 10 am to 12:00 noon, $40 members, $50 nonmembers
Get the greatest value for your technology dollars. Webinar best suited for small to mid-sized organizations without full-time technology staff


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In This Issue:
Policy Update
Member 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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