December 23, 2015
IN THIS ISSUE...
CL CC Event Calendar
CT Land Conservation Conference
Middletown, CT
Registration opens in 2016!
Exploring the Spectrum of Alternative Land Trust Management Models 
Dec. 17, 2015




Connect With Us
Executive Director's Message
A lot to smile about
Last week we convened CLCC's "Exploring the Spectrum of Alternative Land Trust Management Models", a discussion facilitated by consultant Sharon Danosky and hosted by the Connecticut Community Foundation

With heavy rain and miserable traffic, I had pretty low expectations for a good turn-out.

Yet, one-by-one, they filed into the room. Twenty-five representatives from land trusts in the region and beyond came ready to think outside the box, share ideas, and learn from each other about ways to collaborate and combine forces to strengthen their organizations and advance conservation in their respective regions.

I had a lot to smile about!

This was the last CLCC workshop of 2015 -- the culmination of a series of training & education programs focused on building the individual and collective capacity of the land trust community to save and enhance the state's natural heritage and resources. The evening was interesting, energizing and a lot of fun -- a terrific way to close out a pretty amazing year.

Thanks to you, in 2015 we offered land trusts more services and technical assistance than ever before, convened an annual Conference that broke records in all respects (including inches of snow), and, despite some of the worst challenges to the state budget in recent memory, we protected conservation funding and helped pass pro-conservation bills at the State Capitol and in Washington, D.C. (2015 Year in Review HERE)

Thanks to you, we will continue to ensure that members of the Connecticut land conservation community, like the folks who packed the room last week, have the support, services and leadership they need to be strong and viable organizations to help achieve their conservation goals.

Thanks to you, we have a lot to smile about!

On behalf of the CLCC Steering Committee, thank you again for your partnership, dedication and support.

We wish you a lovely holiday season.

With warmest regards,
Amy

Lots of smiles visiting the MLCT's Botti Farm on Bush Hill Rd. with land steward Sandy Lok.

CLCC News
2016 CT Land Conservation Conference 
Reserve a spot in the 2016 Conservation Service Provider Directory

32nd Annual 
Connecticut Land Conservation Conference
Saturday, March 19, 2016
8:30am - 4:45pm (followed by post-event reception)
Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

Are you a Conservation Service Provider?  Or is your land trust working with one?  
CLCC is once again offering Conservation Service Providers (law firms, appraisers, surveyors, land trust and non-profit consultants, land management/environmental professionals, etc.) to provide an opportunity to increase their visibility within the conservation community, including a listing in our 2016 Conservation Service Provider Directory. 

More information is HERE or contact CLCC ED Amy B. Paterson.
View the 2015 Service Provider Directory HERE.
CLCC Awarded 2015 Letz Environmental Grant

We are delighted to announce that CLCC has been awarded $30,000 from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut through the Peter Grayson Letz Fund for Animals and the Environment to bring our CT Land Trust Advancement Initiative to the land trusts in New London County.  Through a combination of technical assistance and coaching, peer learning and trainings, this project will improve the individual stewardship programs of the Region's land trusts, thereby strengthening their overall ability to uphold their ongoing commitment to care for the lands they have been entrusted with in perpetuity. Thank you CFEC! 

Read more HERE.  Watch for program details coming in 2016.
CLCC Steering Committee Member Awarded "Planner of the Year"

We are excited to announce that Margot Burns, the RiverCOG's Environmental Planner, accepted the award for "2015 Planner of the Year" from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association for her work with the Lower Connecticut River Coastal Region Land Trust Exchange.  A member of the CLCC Steering Committee since 2011,  Margot encourages planners to work together to ensure that enough open lands are conserved; provide tools for private woodland owners to properly manage their lands; and to lend a helping hand to their local land trusts and include them in their local land use planning process.   Congrats, Margot!

State News
Learn About Project Green Space
From Audubon Connecticut

Audubon Connecticut has organized Project Green Space, a statewide effort by several individuals and groups,including CLCC, to support legislation that would create a "local option" to acquire, preserve and protect current open space and parks in CT cities and towns. The legislation is not a new concept, we have worked on this issue in the past, but we are working with Audubon CT from the local level up to engage members of the General Assembly in this effort and to promote the passage of "local option" legislation in CT. 

This effort is a complement to the current funding streams for open space purchase and preservation in CT.  Learn more HERE.

Photo credit:  Audubon Connecticut 
Connecticut Audubon Society Releases 2015 State of the Birds
From CT Audubon Society

Earlier in the month, the Connecticut Audubon Society released its Connecticut State of the Birds 2015 report, "Protecting and Connecting Large Landscapes," and called for an increased emphasis on habitat connectivity and land preservation to improve the chances of survival for many of the state's fish, bird, reptile, and mammal species. Read full press release HERE.

Among articles in the report is "The Benefits of Open Space: Fresh Air, Wildlife, Happy Kids" written by CLCC Executive Director Amy B. Paterson.  View the article HERE.
DEEP Launches Online Town Hall to Collect Feedback on Hunting, Sport Shooting, and Trapping Issues
From CT DEEP

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) invites state residents to share their comments about hunting, sport shooting, and trapping in the state. A dedicated "Town Hall forum" website has been developed and is now "live" as part of a major research study for DEEP's Conservation Education and Firearms Safety Program (CE/FS Program). Residents can access the website and leave comments and suggestions at www.cttownhall.org until January 8. Read the full press release HERE 
Federal Po licy News - Big Victories for Conservation
Enhanced Conservation Easement Incentive Made Permanent & More!

Last week, the Senate voted 65-33 and the House voted 318-109 to pass the omnibus bill that will make the tax incentive for conservation easement donations permanent.  Among other provisions, the bill also renews the IRA rollover (so donors over 70.5 can contribute from their IRAs).  The vote also reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund for three years and increased its funding from $306 million last year to $450 million this year.  
Read CLCC's full release including links to more info HERE.

Please be sure to thank Senators Murphy and Blumenthal and Representatives Courtney, DeLauro, Esty and Larson for their steadfast support of the incentive and these critically important conservation funding programs.
Land Trust Resources
New NRCS Organic Farming Handbook Now Available
From USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

The USDA NRCS has released the new Organic Farming Handbook to support conservation on organic farms. The Handbook describes organic systems and a range of conservation practices and key resources for use on organic operation. Though this information is specifically for conservation or organic and transitioning-to-organic operations, producers of all kinds can benefit from many of the practices in the Handbook. Access the Handbook HERE. 
Legal Defense Reserves Calculator Now Available - Free Webinars In January
From Land Trust Alliance

The newly developed Legal Defense Reserves Calculator is available in the Alliance's Learning Center. The new calculator enables land trusts to calculate reserves tailored to its specific situation. In 2017, the Accreditation Commission will use the calculator exclusively. Free webinars to see the calculator in action are being held on January 12, and January 26. If you have any questions contact Leslie Ratley-Beach or Lori Barrett
CT Land Trust Listserv - Join the conversation!
Have you subscribed to the CT Land Trust ListServ? If not, you are missing out on some great conversations among members of the state's land trust community.   Visit the ListServ page HERE for more details on how to subscribe along with guidelines and general information.
Free Legal Assistance Available from The Pro Bono Partnership  
The Pro Bono Partnership provides free legal assistance to nonprofit organizations that need help with business or transactional issues (i.e., not litigation), including those related to environmental or 
conservation work. Legal services are provided primarily through the volunteer efforts of local business attorneys who work in corporate legal departments or in local law firms. The Pro Bono  Partnership also helps with educational programs and operates a resource helpline. For more information visit their website HERE.
Funding Opportunities
New Responsible Growth Grant Program for Municipalities and COGs
Office of Policy and Management

The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) is accepting Requests for Applications (RFA) for the new Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Grant Program for municipalities and Regional Councils of Governments (COGs).  Partnerships with non-profits are encouraged.  Grants range between $25,000 and $2,000,000. Types of eligible projects and instructions to apply can be found in the link above. Contact Matthew.Pafford@ct.gov for further info. 
The deadline to apply is February 4, 2016.  
USDA -NRCS Funding Available to Protect and Restore Grasslands, Wetlands, and Working Lands
From USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. The Agricultural Land Easements component protects working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. The Wetlands Reserve Easements component, allow landowners to successfully restore, enhance, and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce damage from flooding, recharge groundwater, and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. To apply, entities should submit applications for funding by January 15. To find out more visit the Connecticut ACEP-ALE page .  
Photo credit: USDA-NRCS
DEEP Open Space & Community Garden Grants

Applications for the next round of DEEP Open Space & Watershed Land Acquisition (OSWA) Program competitive grant funding to assist municipalities, land conservation organizations and water companies with the purchase and preservation of open space lands, urban green space and community gardens are due February 2.  

Details and links to OSWA grant applications HERE 

Community Forest Program

A USDA Forest Service   Community Forest Program , provides funds to local governments, tribal governments, and qualified nonprofit entities to establish community forests that demonstrate continuing and accessible community benefits. Federal funds are available to pay up to 50% of the full fee acquisition of forested land for community benefits. Applications due January 15.  Click HERE for additional information. 
Conservation Job Opportunities
Executive Assistant - Save the Sound
The Executive Assistant performs confidential functions for and reports to both the Save the Sound Executive Director and the Director of Advocates and Special Gifts. This is an administrative position that supports major donor fundraising activities. Click HERE for more details. Please send a cover letter, resume, two writing samples, salary requirements, and professional references to Valerie Wormley-Radford at vwormely-radford@ctenvironment.org. The position will remain open until filled.
Applications Open for Kinship Conservation Fellowship Program
Applications are open for the 2016 cohort of Kinship Conservation Fellows. Program dates are June 26 - July 27, 2016  on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.  More information and online application can be found HERE .  Application deadline is January 18, 2016.  
Partnership Coordinator - Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership
The Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership is looking to hire a Partnership Coordinator. This part-time position is supported through 2017 with a grant from Highstead Foundation. The Partnership Coordinator will organize and facilitate Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership all-partner, steering committee, working group meetings,and special events. Click HERE for details and instructions on how to apply. The deadline to apply is January 15, 2016. 
The Connecticut Land Conservation Council's mission is to advocate for land preservation, stewardship and funding, and ensure the long term strength and viability of the land conservation community. 
We count on your support!
Please consider a gift to CLCC as part of your year-end giving!

Connecticut Land Conservation Council
Steering Committee and Staff
Alicia Sullivan, Chair (Trust for Public Land); Catherine Rawson, Vice-Chair (Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust); Tim Abbott (Litchfield Hills Greenprint); David Bingham (Salem Land Trust); 
Sandy Breslin (Bethany Inland Wetlands Commission) David Brown ( Middlesex Land Trust ); Margot Burns ( Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments ); Kevin Case ( Land Trust Alliance ); Eric Hammerling ( CT Forest & Park Association ); Michael Hveem ( Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust ); Elaine Labella ( Housatonic Valley Association ); Connie Manes ( Kent Land Trust ); Elisabeth Moore ( CT Farmland Trust ); Shirley Nichols ( Darien Land Trust ); Tom ODell ( CT Association of Conservation and Inland Wetland Commissions ); David Sutherland ( The Nature Conservancy ); Humphrey Tyler ( Lyme Land Conservation Trust

Amy Blaymore Paterson, Executive Director
Cristina Gastador Hayden, Communications Coordinator 
Connecticut Land Conservation Council | 16 Meriden Road, Rockfall, CT  06481 | 860-685-0785
© 2015 Connecticut Land Conservation Council. All rights reserved.