Coalition of conservation, sports and working forest organizations calls on US Congress to include Forest Conservation Easement Program Act of 2023 in 2023 Farm Bill’s conservation title with mandatory funding

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

August 17, 2023 (press release) –

The Land Trust Alliance, along with a broad coalition of conservation, sportsmen and working forest organizations and companies, are united in advocating to include the Forest Conservation Easement Program Act of 2023 (S. 2631) in the 2023 Farm Bill’s conservation title with mandatory funding via a letter to members of Congress.

You can find the letter here.

This bill would ensure that forests remain forests using conservation easements that purchase development rights from willing private and tribal landowners to prevent conversion to non-forest uses. This would ensure that private forests in a conservation easement remain privately owned and working. Furthermore, a Forest Conservation Easement Program would also:

  • Significantly improve and enhance the ability of the Natural Resources Conservation Service to effectively conserve working forests at scale through conservation easements.

  • Prioritize keeping forests as forests continuing to provide a multitude of environmental, economic and societal benefits.

  • Help landowners restore, enhance and protect habitat for at-risk species while increasing carbon sequestration.

  • Provide landowners with two proven options for placing voluntary conservation easements on their land, with one held by the federal government and one held by eligible entities and land trusts.

This legislation promotes conservation while providing ample opportunities for private forestland and forest landowners of all types and sizes to protect and conserve their land now and for future generations.

You can find the announcement regarding S. 2631 here.

House companion legislation, the FCEP Act of 2023 (H.R. 3424), was introduced on May 17.

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 need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents approximately 950 member land trusts supported by more than 250,000 volunteers and 6.3 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices.

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