Posts Tagged ‘Defense Readiness and Environment Protection Initiative’

Washington Watch, Sept. 21

September 21, 2010

U.S. Capitol, ca. 1920 - Theodor Horydczak/Library of Congress

Periodically, the folks in TPL’s Federal Affairs department prepare a summary of conservation news from the nation’s capitol. The Washington Watch newsletter is available on the Web or by free email subscription.

To read the entire issue here.

Congress Returns
Congress returned from a six-week recess on September 14, but the legislative calendar remains somewhat murky, particularly in the Senate. With crucial midterm elections looming, and many successful challenges to incumbents already in the record books, it is uncertain how long the House and Senate will stay in Washington, DC. They are currently scheduled to work until October 8, but rumors abound that timeline will be shortened as the days tick away.
Details here

House and Senate Support More Money for DOD Buffer Program
Legislation seeking an increase in the amount of money proposed by the Obama Administration for the Department of Defense Readiness and Environment Protection Initiative (REPI) has passed the House and has been approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The House version of the Defense Authorization for FY 2011, passed by the House on May 28, includes a $10 million increase over the spending level included in the President’s budget, while the Senate-committee-approved version includes an increase of $25 million.
Details here

AGO Listening Sessions Have Come to An End
The Administration’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative to develop a conservation agenda for the 21st century has wrapped up its summer season of listening sessions across the country. The Obama Administration hosted nearly two dozen events nationwide to gather ideas on how to preserve the outdoors and get more Americans outside.
Details here

NOAA’s CELCP Program Posts FY2011 Priority List
The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) provides state and local governments with matching grant funds to purchase conservation easements and fee acquisitions of important coastal and estuarine lands. Each year, coastal conservation projects applying for grant funding through CELCP are evaluated and ranked by an independent, competitive, merit-based panel. A priority list generated by the panel serves as a guide in selecting projects for funding once Congress completes its annual appropriations process.
Details here

FLTFA Extension Update
Just before Congress left Washington for its annual August Recess, it passed legislation that included a one-year extension of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act. The Act expired on July 25 and the one-year extension went into effect when the law was signed on July 29. This gap of only a few days had an unfortunate consequence. While it was good news that FLTFA received a one-year extension, the funding that had been in the program’s accounts reverted to the Treasury under the terms of the original legislation.
Details here

Public Lands Bills of Interest
The 111th Congress has worked on dozens of public lands bills that still await further action before becoming enacted into law. These various bills may be addressed in an omnibus lands package, but given the complexities of the congressional calendar, it is uncertain when further action will be taken.
Details here

New Baucus Tax Legislation Includes Conservation Tax Incentive
On September 16, Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced the “Job Creation and Tax Cut Act of 2010.” This bill extends a variety of tax provisions that would otherwise expire. Among these is the conservation tax incentive, which encourages the donation of conservation easements. The Baucus bill would extend the provision through 2010.
Details here

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Washington Watch June 23, 2010

June 24, 2010
U.S. Capitol, 1917, by Robert Runyon

U.S. Capitol Building, 1917 - Photo: Robert Runyon / Library of Congress

Periodically, the folks in TPL’s Federal Affairs department prepare a summary of conservation news from the nation’s capitol. The Washington Watch newsletter is available on the Web or by free email subscription.

AGO Listening Sessions Begin in Montana
The Administrations’ America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative – to develop a conservation agenda for the 21st century – kicked off an anticipated summer season of listening sessions June 1st and 2nd in Montana. The Obama Administration plans more than a dozen such events nationwide to gather ideas on how to preserve the outdoors and get more Americans outside. President Obama and Secretary of Interior, Kenneth Salazar, announced the America’s Great Outdoors initiative at a White House Conference on April 16, 2010 that will culminate in a report to the President with recommendations due next November.
Details here.

House and Senate Support More Money for DOD Buffer Program
Legislation seeking an increase in the amount of money proposed by the Obama Administration for the Department of Defense Readiness and Environment Protection Initiative (REPI) has passed the House and has been approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The House version of the Defense Authorization for FY 2011, passed by the House on May 28, includes a $10 million increase over the spending level included in the President’s budget, while the Senate-committee-approved version includes an increase of $25 million.
Details here

Senate Committee Approves Permanent FLTFA Reauthorization
On June 21, 2010, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved S. 1787, introduced by Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, to permanently authorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA). This law, first enacted in 2000, is scheduled to expire on July 24, 2010. FLTFA provides a mechanism to use proceeds from the sales or exchanges of public lands to fund acquisitions of inholdings or important edge-holdings of America’s national parks, national forest, national wildlife refuges, and certain units of the Bureau of Land Management.
Details here

TPL Submits Comments on DOT’s Strategic Plan
On June 15, TPL submitted official comments in response to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) FY2010-FY2015 strategic Plan. DOT is planning to use this Strategic Plan to develop and implement policies and programs that will transform our transportation infrastructure into a multimodal system that provides travelers and businesses with safe, convenient, affordable, and environmentally sustainable transportation choices.
Details here

Conservation Tax Incentive Extension Still Awaiting Final Action
The extension of the enhanced deduction for the donation of conservation easements is caught up in the wrangling over the larger tax “extenders” bill now being debated in the Senate. While no one is arguing over the conservation tax incentive provision, its enactment will be delayed until a compromise is reached on the overall package.

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