Sustainable Ranges Initiative

California

California

California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002

California Public Resources Code ß 5096.10(d) (Proposition 40, 2002) authorizes the issuance of bonds for " acquisition, restoration, preservation, and interpretation of California's historical and cultural resources." The Resources Agency December 2003 publication, "Summary of Programs in Proposition 40" states that eligible recipients include "public agencies, nonprofits and tribal organizations" and one of the categories for an eligible project to preserve and demonstrate military history, including the industries, technologies, and commercial activities that have characterized California's economic expansion and California's contribution to national defense."

Agricultural Land Conservation

Most recent Agricultural Land Conservation bills (SB 1864, 2002 and SB 275, 1995) provide for The California Farmland Conservancy Program which "provides grant funding for projects which use and support agricultural conservation easements for protection of agricultural lands."

Senate Bill No. 275 1995

Florida

Florida

Environmental Land Acquisition

Florida has had an aggressive land acquisition program since 1964. In 1999, the Legislature passed Florida Forever, a ten-year, $3 billion program which is the largest conservation program in the country. This program acquires valuable conservation land which includes many lands adjacent to or near military installations. To date the state has invested approximately $700 million to acquire 500,000 acres of lands that will also benefit military installations. One of the biggest military encroachment buffering projects is the Northwest Florida Greenway. This project hopes to establish a conservation corridor 5 to 10 miles wide and 100 miles long, running from the eastern boundary of Eglin AFB to the Apalachicola National Forest. The proposed routing follows the paths used by the military for test and training over flights between the regions gulf and land ranges and the migration routes of the Florida Black Bear.

Illinois

Illinois

Illinois Conservation Foundation

Illinois Conservation Foundation "established by law in 1994, has raised nearly $10 million to support worthwhile projects and programs to benefit people today and in future generations."

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program was created in 1998 "through an agreement with the State of Illinois and the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to reduce sediment and nutrient content while enhancing wildlife habitats for threatened and endangered species in the Illinois River Watershed."
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is "charged with protecting, conserving and managing the State's natural resources" and is developing its Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan.

Montana

Montana

MT - State Tax Credit for Contributions to Qualified Endowment

State Tax Credit for Contributions to Qualified Endowment
Mont. Code Ann. ß 15-30-161, 15-30-166 and 15-30-167 enacted in 1997 and modified several times with the last bill, HB 616, 2003. This provides that a taxpayer can obtain a tax credit up to $10,000 annually against taxes owed in "an amount equal to 40% of the present value of the aggregate amount of the charitable gift portion of a planned gift made by the taxpayer during the year to any qualified endowment." A corporation is allowed a tax credit up to $10,000 annually "in an amount equal to 20% of a charitable gift against the taxes otherwise due" for charitable contributions to a qualified endowment.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program

New Hampshire RSA chapter 227-M, ( SB 401, 2000) established the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. The purpose of this program is to conserve and preserve New Hampshire's "most important natural, cultural, and historic resources through the acquisition of lands, and cultural and historic resources, or interests therein" in partnership with the local jurisdictions and the private sector. To date this program has made over 110 grants to protect over 200,000 acres of land and to rehabilitate and protect over 80 historic structures with $16.5 million from the legislature which has been leveraged with other funding.

New Mexico

New Mexico

NM - Land Conservation Incentives Act

Land Conservation Incentives Act
N.M. Stat. Ann. ß75-9-1 through 75-9-6, 7-2-18.10, 7-2A-8.9(SB 581, 2003) provide for a tax credit up to $100,000 against income tax liability for donating conservation easements.

  • If the credit exceeds the tax liability amount in a year then the unused credit may be "carried over for a maximum of twenty consecutive taxable years."
  • Permits one tax credit claim per taxpayer per year.
  • Amount is "equal to fifty percent of the fair market value of land or interest in land that is conveyed."
  • Qualified donations include:
    • Land conveyed as an unconditional donation in perpetuity to a "public or private conservation agency eligible to hold the land and interests therein for conservation or preservation purposes" for the purpose of:
      • open space,
      • natural resource or biodiversity conservation,
      • agricultural, watershed or historic preservation
    • "conveyance in perpetuity of a fee interest in real property or less-than-fee interest in real property" such as:
      • A conservation, preservation, agricultural preservation or watershed preservation restriction

North Carolina

North Carolina

Funding for Land Acquisition or Conservation Easements Near Military Bases

HB 1264, 2004 authorizes borrowing up to $25 million for expansion of state parks and $20 million to acquire "by conservation easement or fee simple up to 17,000 acres near North Carolina military bases in order to prevent encroachment by incompatible development." The maximum amount that may be spent for military base preservation by July 1, 2005 is $12 million. The bill also states that this "acquisition shall be a high priority because of its vital importance to the State of North Carolina."

Ohio

Ohio

OH - Conservation Fund

Conservation Fund
The legislature approved HJR 15, 2000 which placed a ballot issue before the voters regarding Conservation Funding. This issue, approved by 57.4% to 42.6%, authorized the issuance of up to $400 million in bonds for land and water conservation and revitalization. The legislature in 2001, passed H.B.3, which established procedures for the issuance of the bonds and set forth the distribution of the general obligation bonds to be deposited as follows:

  • 75% to the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund (grants for natural resources and parks and recreation)
  • 12.5% to the Clean Ohio Trail Fund (grants for recreational trails)
  • 12.5% to the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Fund (preservation of farmland)
Ohio EPA

Rhode Island

Rhode Island

RI - Open Space, Recreation, Bay and Watershed Protection Bond

Open Space, Recreation, Bay and Watershed Protection Bond
In 2004, the legislature approved Article 5 to H 8219 (Chapter 595) which submits a bond referendum to voters on the November ballot. If approved, $70 million will be available for such items as open space, farmland preservation, recreation programs, groundwater protection and watershed restoration.

South Carolina

South Carolina

South Carolina Conservation Bank Act

South Carolina's S.C.Code ß 48-59-140 (S. 297, 2002) establishes the South Carolina Conservation Bank and its 12 member board. Funding to the board is provided through deed recording fees. Provides conservation and financial criteria to assist in the acquisition of land or conservation easements that conserve such items as open space, farmland, wildlife habitat, rare or endangered species. It is anticipated that this fund will provide approximately $10 million dollars a year.

South Carolina's S.C.Code 48-59-140 (S. 297, 2002)

Virginia

Virginia

Office of Farmland Preservation

Virginia's Va. Code ß 3.1-18.9 - 3.1-18.12 (S1160, 2001) establishes the Office of Farmland Preservation (continued from the Agricultural Vitality Program) and the Virginia Farm Link program. The Office is to develop "model policies and practices that may be used as a guide to establish local purchase of development rights programs" along with criteria and sources of funds in cooperation with:

  • Department of Business Assistance,
  • Virginia Farm Bureau Federation,
  • American Farmland Trust,
  • Virginia Land Conservation Foundation,
  • Virginia Outdoors Foundation,
  • Virginia Association of Counties and the
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension

Once a year, the Commissioner shall submit a report to the legislature.

Washington

Washington

WA - Agricultural Conservation Easements Program

Agricultural Conservation Easements Program
Wash. Rev. Code ß 89.08.530 and 89.08.540 (SHB 2758, 2002) creates the agricultural conservation easements program. The state conservation commission shall manage this program and report to the Legislature on funding issues.