Federal funding bill offers good news for conservation

Dec 22, 2015
A bit of good news to end your 2015: the recent Omnibus spending bill had three provisions that will provide a big boost for conservation!

A bit of good news to end your 2015: the recent Omnibus spending bill had three provisions that will provide a big boost for conservation!

1. The charitable IRA rollover has been made permanent! This great giving tool allows certain donors to give directly from their IRA accounts to the charity of their choice without having to recognize the distribution as income. Depending upon a donor's circumstances, this can be a big advantage. Learn more.

2. Conservation easement tax incentives are now permanent! This means landowners who sign this voluntary agreement can be eligible for significant tax benefits. First enacted as a temporary provision in 2006, this incentive has, and will continue, to be extremely helpful for landowners wanting to conserve their land. The Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, and its members (including the Deschutes Land Trust), worked on passing this incentive and you can learn more about their efforts.

3. The Land and Water Conservation Fund was re-authorized! The LWCF is the major source of public funding for land conservation and recreation across the country. The LWCF is funded from off-shore oil drilling royalties (not tax dollars), and was allowed to expire in September 2015. However, the recent Omnibus spending bill re-authorized the LWCF for three more years at $450 million ($150 million more than last year!). In the past 50 years, this fund has invested $300 million in Oregon conservation. Past LWCF Central Oregon projects include: La Pine State Park, Tumalo State Park, and Smith Rock State Park. We hope future LWCF/Forest Legacy projects will include Skyline Forest. The Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, including Deschutes Land Trust, worked hard to re-authorize this critical source of funding, learn more.