1,800 Land Trust Alliance Supporters Gather in Rhode Island to Chart Future of Land Conservation

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Nation’s largest gathering of land conservation leaders begins amid urgent push for congressional action.

Land Trust Alliance logo

Land Trust Alliance logo

We’re honored to celebrate the accomplishments of Rhode Island’s 47 land trusts, as well as those of the Alliance’s 1,200 other member land trusts, at Rally 2014 as we look to the future of conservation.

The Land Trust Alliance, a national conservation organization that works to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America, announced today the nation’s largest gathering of land conservation leaders will begin Sept. 18 in Providence, Rhode Island. Governor Lincoln Chafee will attend the welcome dinner to kick off Rally 2014: The National Land Conservation Conference, which runs through Sept. 20 at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

“Rhode Island’s community-driven land trusts have protected more than 36,000 acres through the work of nearly 2,000 active volunteers and 10,500 members and financial supporters, making the state an ideal location for Rally 2014,” said Rand Wentworth, Land Trust Alliance president. “We’re honored to celebrate the accomplishments of Rhode Island’s 47 land trusts, as well as those of the Alliance’s 1,200 other member land trusts, at Rally 2014 as we look to the future of conservation.”

Rhode Island Land Trust Council Director Rupert Friday said the statewide coalition of land trusts is “excited the Alliance chose Providence and Rhode Island as the location for Rally 2014, and we are eager to showcase the scenic spaces that make our state so beautiful.”

The meeting of 1,800 conservation leaders, government officials and grasstops advocates comes at a time when Congress is considering whether to make permanent a tax incentive for conservation easement donations. In a bipartisan vote, the House acted on July 17 to pass the incentive as part of the America Gives More Act. The Senate must vote before year’s end to support these permanent tax incentives, bringing stability to conservation processes that require thoughtful, long-term planning and reliable frameworks.

“Since the enhanced tax incentive was first passed, conservation easement donations increased by more than 30 percent, to 1 million acres a year, with great growth potential in the future. But each time the incentives expire, conservation slows,” Wentworth said. “This red-light, green-light approach to land conservation is not smart policy, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree with us. It’s time to make these tax incentives permanent.”

In addition to redoubling support for these permanent tax incentives, attendees of Rally 2014 will discuss national conservation trends, learn emerging techniques for protecting land, and share their best and most beneficial practices. Tem Blessed, a socially conscious hip-hop artist who focuses on sustainability and social justice, will perform during Rally’s welcoming dinner. Andy Goodman, a nationally recognized speaker on public interest communications and author of “Storytelling as Best Practice” among other books, is Rally’s keynote speaker.

Featuring more than 100 workshops and over a dozen seminars, Rally 2014 is the nation’s premier gathering for conservation leadership and training. Media is invited to attend after registering with Joshua Lynsen, Media Relations Manager, at jlynsen(at)lta(dot)org or 202-800-2239. Media may also inquire at the Rhode Island Convention Center’s registration area. Interviews with Alliance principals and conference presenters can be arranged by request.

About the Land Trust Alliance

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,200 member land trusts supported by more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C. and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at http://www.landtrustalliance.org.

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Joshua Lynsen
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