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Johnson backs bill championed by the conservation community
While visiting the Connemara Conservancy in Allen, Rep. Sam Johnson announced his co-sponsorship of legislation championed by the conservation community in North Texas, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2009, H.R. 1831. This bill will aid in the protection of millions of acres of the nation's agricultural lands and open spaces. H.R. 1831 makes permanent an expiring incentive that allows modest-income landowners to receive significant tax deductions for donating conservation easements that permanently protect important natural or historic resources on their lands.
The Conservancy was founded with an initial gift of 72 acres by Frances (Montgomery) Williams on the border of Allen and Plano called the Connemara Meadow Preserve in 1981. They are part of the larger Land Trust Alliance. Connemara became one of Texas' first land trusts, a qualified organization to hold conservation easements on private land in partnership with willing landowners. Connemara is now one of over 40 land trusts working to preserve natural lands throughout Texas. It is also the only regional land trust focusing solely on North Texas preservation.
The Conservancy has long advocated preservation to prevent suburban sprawl in the Metroplex. According to the group, “Open spaces are increasingly threatened by suburban sprawl. Forbes.com reports that twelve of the 100 fastest growing cities are in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Acres of open space, wildlife habitats and fragile ecosystems are disappearing at an alarming rate. As land is divided into smaller and smaller pieces, pressure is placed on flood control, water quality, native prairies, wildlife populations, carbon dioxide sinks, and the agricultural heritage of Texas.”
For information about the Connemara Conservancy visit www.connemaraconservancy.org
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