FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For additional information, contact:
Holley Groshek, Acting Executive Director
Equine Land Conservation Resource
Lexington, KY – December 9, 2013 – At Equine Land Conservation Resource we often ask the question where will we ride, drive, race, compete, raise foals and grow hay tomorrow? The expiration of a key land conservation incentive will greatly impact the answer to that question.
There is a general consensus in the equine community that saving land for horses and horse-related activities is a top priority. Open space is at a premium these days and conservation has become an increasingly important issue in the equine world. For this reason, Equine Land Conservation Resource supports federal legislation that prevents the loss of open space. One of the strongest and most cost effective tools to accomplish this is the enhanced tax incentive for landowners who permanently retire development rights on their land.
This incentive allows farmers and ranchers, horse people, and family land businesses to remain prosperous and viable, when they might otherwise not be able to continue to keep their land open for farming, pastureland, breeding, trails, horse shows, competition venues, hay and grain production or any of the other uses of open space which impact the horse community.
For example, Fauquier County, Virginia landowner Marion Poynter recognizing the importance of conserving horse lands permanently protected her historic 47-acre farm this year by donating a conservation easement to the Piedmont Environmental Council. Mrs. Poynter and her farm, known as “The Meadows,” are known in equine circles for their warmblood sport horse breeding program, which is largely based on the now protected property. However, we are in danger of losing this enhanced incentive which is set to expire at the end of the month.
Unless Congress acts, some of the farms and open fields, essential to our industry and sport, will be lost forever. H.R. 2807 and S. 526 would make the enhanced incentive permanent, and both bills have strong bi-partisan support.
We are asking the media to help us inform the equine community and urge them to take immediate action by contacting their senators and representative (202-224-3121) and asking them to co-sponsor S. 526 or H.R. 2807. If their representative is already a co-sponsor, they can still call and let them know how important it is to move this legislation before the end of the year. To learn more about the enhanced tax incentive program please visit www.lta.org/easementincentive.
Working together we can conserve and protect our cherished equine places and spaces!!
About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): The Equine Land Conservation Resource builds awareness of the loss of lands available for horse-related activities and facilitates the protection and preservation of those lands. We work to ensure America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of the horse-human relationship remains accessible. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse on issues related to conserving horse properties, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic development. For more information about the ELCR visit our website at www.elcr.org or call (859) 455-8383.