Mr. Allott goes to Washington
ALT Executive Director Chuck Allott was asked by the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) to participate in this year’s Advocacy Days program (April 11-13). The mission of LTA’s annual Advocacy Days is to provide land trust leaders with hands-on advocacy training in Washington, D.C. and to facilitate their relationships with their key legislators in order to help build the political influence of the land trust community. There were teams meeting with legislation delegations from all 50 states.
The RI team (Jenn Fusco, board member of the Westerly Land Trust and LTA staff member, Marcy Eichner, LTA intern and RI resident, and Chuck) met with each of our state’s US legislative delegation. The purpose of the meetings was first and foremost to thank them for their support for the Conservation Easement Tax Incentive Bill which passed last December. That bill increases the tax deductibility of conservation easements. The teams also sought support for some other land and water conservation measures currently running through Congress. Specifically, Chuck thanked the Senators and Congressmen for their help in getting Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) funding appropriated for the St. Mary’s Church conservation project last year and for their support for the Second Beach utility line undergrounding project – which ALT has been working on in collaboration with the Preservation Society of Newport County, Preservation Rhode Island, and US Fish and Wildlife Service. The team met personally with Senator Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline, and with senior staff for Senator Jack Reed and Congressman Jim Langevin, as they were participating in hearings.
Chuck hopes these meetings will broaden ALT’s rapport with the legislators and their staffs as we continue to work together to champion national land conservation legislation and local projects like those referred to above. Rhode Island is so fortunate to have a delegation that truly understands the importance of preserving our natural and agricultural open spaces. Kudos to Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressmen Langevin and Cicilline.
PHOTO (left to right): Marcy Eichner (LTA intern and RI resident), Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI 1), Jenn Fusco (board member of the Westerly Land Trust and LTA staff member), and Chuck Allott.