3 conservation policy wins we’re celebrating

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Bison roaming Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service Midwest

This winter solstice, INHF is celebrating three pieces of conservation policy signed by President Obama last week that provide huge support to Iowans hoping to do individual conservation and support conservation efforts in Iowa.

Conservation Easement tax incentives
Conservation easements are a great way for Iowans who want to protect the natural resource value of their land in the future. Iowans who donate a conservation easement are eligible for income tax credits to offset the value of their land donation. First enacted as temporary provisions in 2006 (needing to be renewed on a yearly basis), these tax incentives are directly responsible for conserving more than 2 million acres of America’s natural outdoor heritage. Last Friday, Congress and the president approved these tax incentives as permanent.

The incentive grants certain tax benefits to landowners who sign a conservation easement. Such private, voluntary agreements with local land trusts permanently limit uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Lands placed into conservation easements can continue to be farmed, hunted or used for other specified purposes. The lands also remain on county tax rolls, strengthening local economies. Continue reading

Conservation Easement Incentive Act moves to the Senate

At the end of last year, the enhanced deduction for conservation easement donations expired. To restore—and make permanent—this enhanced incentive, bipartisan legislation introduced the Conservation Easement Incentive Act to the U.S. House (H.R. 641) and the U.S. Senate (S. 330) in February this year. Continue reading