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WINTER 2009-2010

Conservation Observations
264 U.S. Representatives and 40 U.S. Senators sponsor bills to enhance tax incentives for landowner donations of conservation easements
Over the past two years, the federal law allowing for enhanced deductibility of donations of conservation easements has increased the pace of land conservation by over 535,00 acres. According to the Land Trust Alliance, to date local, state and national land trusts in the United States have preserved approximately 37 million acres. This is a doubling of the number of preserved acres since five years ago. The increased pace of land conservation in the U.S. is due, in part, to the enhanced federal tax incentive that allows landowners to deduct the value of a donated conservation easement in calculating income tax due. Landowners can deduct up to 50% of their adjusted gross income with a 15 year carry forward or up to 100% for qualified farmers and ranchers using the value of the donated easement. As of Dec. 31, 2009, this enhanced incentive expires and the “old rule” applies allowing landowners to deduct donated value up to 30% of their adjusted gross income in year one with a five year carryforward. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Mike Turner have cosponsored bills to extend the enhanced incentive. House Bill 1831, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, and S.B. 812, the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act, both keep the Pileated woodpecker activity on a farm under consideration for enhanced incentive in place. These incentives are an preservation in Clinton County, Ohio. This 82 acre farm important lifetime and estate planning tool and also help to includes woods and farm conservation practices. Grasshopper preserve land for future generations to use and enjoy. sparrows have also been spotted on the property. The farm Congress is expected to act on all tax-related bills early in includes a tributary to the Todd’s Fork. The owner is interested 2010.
in se"ing grass fed beef and other farm products loca"y.



WINTER 2009-2010

SAVE THE DATE -- Saturday, April 24, 2010 will be the primary focus of Earth Day activities in 2010, including morning activities tentatively scheduled to take place at Southern State Community College. Activities will likely included a nature hike, a youth session on butterflies, and the Earth Day Dinner in the evening. If you have ideas for Earth Day 2010 please contact Don Spurling ( or Mark Rembert and Taylor Stuckert at

Earth Day Dinner set for Saturday, April 24, 2010 The Loft, 64 W. Main Street 5:00 Annual Membership Meeting 5:30 Social - Cash Bar 6:30 Dinner $25 per person

Ohio Office of Farmland Preservation to hold Southwest Ohio Landowners meeting on Jan. 12, 5-7 p.m. at Cox Arboretum
The Ohio Department of Agriculture Department of Farmland Preservation announced today that it will hold a Southwest Ohio Landowners Meeting on Jan. 12, 2009, 5-7 p.m. at Cox Arboretum (held in partnership with Three Valley Conservation Trust and Montgomery SWCD).


Cox Arboretum Metropark 6733 Springboro Pike Dayton, Ohio 45449

Qualifying farms must be at least 40 acres (preferably over 300), have a conservation practices plan and estate plan in place (or in progress), must be signed up with the County Auditor for CAUV tax treatment and Agricultural District Status, must be zoned at least A-2 (A-1 preferred) and must have in place a conservation plan for the farm. The AEPP program pays a percentage of the Auditor’s valuation (typically one third of the value of the land) for an agricultural easement. CCOL is a qualified sponsor for AEPP. After attending this program, call Clinton Co. Open Lands to discuss whether your farm might be a good candidate for this program . E-mail or call Laura Curliss at 513-600-7171.



WINTER 2009-2010

Thirty-seven more farms saved through the AEPP program
Nov. 13, 2009 -- Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and state Director of Agriculture Robert Boggs have announced the results of the 2009 Clean Ohio Agriculture Easement Purchase Program (AEPP). Thirty-seven farms were added to the number of Ohio farms permanently preserved through the purchase of an agricultural easement on these farms. These 37 farms represent an additional 6,279 acres preserved for agriculture in Ohio, bringing the total number of farms preserved to 172 (32,000 acres total). "Ohioans have proven that preserving our state's farmland and green space is important by their consistent support of the Clean Ohio Fund," said Strickland. "The Agricultural Easement Purchase Program helps sustain our important agricultural industry and ensure that Ohioans are able to enjoy and utilize our state's valuable land for generations to come." The Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (AEPP) is a very competitive program that allows the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), in partnership with local sponsors, to purchase agricultural easements on Ohio farms. Clinton County Open Lands, Inc. and the Clinton County Board of Commissioners have sponsored AEPP applications. More information about the AEPP may be found at FarmLand.aspx. The Ohio Department of Agriculture and Clinton County Open Lands, Inc. also accept donations of agricultural easements. Qualified donations of agricultural or conservation easements are eligible for income and estate tax benefits. Landowners interested in the AEPP program or in donating an easement may contact Laura Curliss at 513-600-7171.

Fee simple - urban green space in Wilmington: Hunter Glen Nature Preserve - 2.4 acres (2006) Conservation or agricultural easements - 284 acres Farm #1 - 65 acres (2007) Farm #2 - 105 acres (2007) Farm #3 - 124 acres (2007) 2009-2010 Projects in Progress - One farm (82 acres). MEMBERS -- 72

CCOL Property Acquisition Fund -- $ 61.04 CCOL Stewardship Fund -- $ 3,472.41 (Waterfowl USA funds $159.81) CHECKING ACCOUNT BALANCE (12.15.09) = $2471.75 Checks to CCOL may be mailed to CCOL, P.O. Box 95, Wilmington, OH 45177.

The future of land preservation in Clinton County is in the hands of our members and donors. Your contribution to CCOL support land preservation through the acquisition and stewardship of conservation easements on farmland, natural areas and waterways. CCOL is a 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation to CCOL or to one of our two endowment funds at the Clinton County Foundation, are tax deductible according to law. Send contributions to CCOL, P.O. Box 95, Wilmington, OH 45177.



WINTER 2009-2010

• January 12 - SW Ohio Landowner’s Meeting for AEPP (call 614-728-6210) • January 28 - CCOL Board Mtg at 4:30. • February 25 - CCOL Board Mtg at 4:30 • March 25- Board Mtg • April 22 - Board Mtg • April 24 - Annual Member Meeting 5 p.m., Earth Day Dinner 5:30 social, 6:30 dinner The Lo$, 64 W. Main, Wilmington • August 21 - Local Foods Dinner - General Denver Hotel • October 2010 National Land Trust Conference, Hartford CT (see
Nature Preserve to finish chipping eradicated honeysuckle for use on the trails? * . . . that CCOL Board member Chris Hodgson is on the Steering Committee for the Coalition of State Land Trusts (COLT) for Ohio? * . . . that CCOL Board member Laura Curliss attended the National Land Trust Conference in Portland, OR Oct. 12-14? Krista Magaw from Tecumseh L.T. also attend.

A group of explorers from Champions in the Making Day Care on Randolph St. enjoy a late fall walk in Hunter Glen
DID YOU KNOW THAT. . . * . . .CCOL is part of the Clinton County Green Alliance? Visit to learn more. environmental groups) was held on May 28, 2009? * . . .a neighboring land trust, Little Miami, Inc. owns over 50 riverfront nature preserves along the Little Miami National Scenic River and its headwaters? Visit to learn more. * . . .that the Ohio EPA has completed a study of the Little Miami Watershed? * . . .that CCOL Land Steward Paul Hunter recently led a chipping party at Hunter Glen

* . . .that you can post “green” news items on the Green Alliance website/blog? E-mail your item to lauracurliss * . . .the first meeting of the “Green Alliance” (Clinton Co.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. --John Muir




Land conservation milestones - the year of #37
Land conservation in the U.S. and in Ohio reached some milestones this year and the lucky number is #37. Thanks to the increased federal tax incentive in place the past few years conservation in the U.S. surpassed 37 million acres. Thirty-seven million acres is an area 16 ½ times Board of Directors To 12.31.10 Charlene Ballard Laura Curliss Open seat To 12.31.11 On November 19, Chris Hodgson Beth Mitchell and I attended the Coalition of Ohio Jim O’Boyle Land Trusts (COLT) meeting in at the Open seat Stratford Ecological Center in To 12.31.12 Delaware, OH. Chris is on the Chris Hodgson COLT Steering Committee. Thank you, Chris, for accepting this honor. Dick Glaser Jon Branstrator At this time of year we ask you to renew or become a member of Nominee for term to 12.31.03 CCOL. As a member of CCOL, you Terri Thobaben directly and indirectly help to achieve Open seat all of these milestones and more in Thanks to our Board for land preservation. - Laura Curliss their hard work and In October, Tecumseh Land Trust, a neighboring land trust, became the first land trust in Ohio to be accredited by the Land Trust Alliance. CCOL hopes to achieve this status and is working toward it.

the size of Yellowstone National Park. CCOL added 284 acres to this total.
In November, we learned that 37 more farms in Ohio were saved through the Clean Ohio Ag. Easement Purchase Program. That brings the total acreage preserved in Ohio through AEPP to 32,000. CCOL has sponsored farm applications and education on AEPP.

Clinton County Open Lands, Inc. P.O. Box 95 Wilmington, OH 45177
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MEMBERSHIP FORM 2010 Please send in by Feb. 1, 2010
By renewing your membership or becoming a new member of Clinton County Open Lands, Inc. you are helping to keep Clinton County green. CCOL works to permanently preserve land by accepting donations of conservation/ag easements on farmland and natural areas. Land remains privately owned. CCOL also seeks grants/donations for purchasing open lands as opportunities arise. CCOL also works with conservation buyers who buy then preserve lands.
Your membership dues fund CCOL’s operation and the acquisition and stewardship of preserved farmland and open spaces. CCOL is an I.R.C. 501(c) (3) organization. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Mail this form and check to: CCOL, P.O. Box 95, Wilmington, OH 45177. ______ $10 ______ $25 ______ $50 Student, recent graduate, Americorps/VISTA, military Individual membership Land Preservationist

______ $100 Land Steward ______ CHECK HERE to be active/volunteer. We will call you. Name: ______________________ Renewing? Stop here if information is the same as last year. Address: ______________________________________________________________ E-mail: _______________________________________________________________ Phones: _______________________________________________________________
Major gifts or Estate gifts to Clinton County Open Lands, Inc. may be made by contacting CCOL Board Member Laura Curliss at 513-600-7171 or