Looking back, 2018 was a good year for conservation – including what should be some lasting legislative achievements.
At the federal level, Congress passed the Farm Bill on a bipartisan basis, allocating an additional $555 million in funding towards conservation efforts through 2023. And at the state level, Georgians overwhelmingly voted in favor of Amendment 1, redirecting existing state sales and use taxes on outdoor goods to conservation.
Partnership for Conservation (P4C) has also enjoyed a productive year, as we have elevated our organization to a position where it is now a prominent national voice on the issue of conservation easements. For instance, we have had op-eds published in outlets including The Hill, Morning Consult and High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal and have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Tax Notes and more.
This year, we grew P4C’s membership to more than 500 individuals in over 40 states. We redesigned our website, most notably developing a weekly blog providing our thoughts on timely conservation issues and expanding the case study section of the website.
On the advocacy side, P4C members and its leadership team took part in another successful fly-in during the month of March in Washington DC. In addition, the organization met with Capitol Hill offices throughout the calendar year to advance the P4C mission and share some of the common issues and potential solutions for conservation easement donations, as well as the current regulatory environment.
Yet even in the wake of P4C’s success and the conservation movement as a whole this year, much work remains. We must continue to ensure that private conservation efforts are maximized according to the law and its intent, while ensuring everyone – individuals, families, or groups of unrelated individuals – have the ability and choice to contribute to meaningful conservation. Congress also needs to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and enact the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
Thank you for being a supporter of P4C this year, and we look forward to working with you to take conservation to greater heights in 2019!