At the August Board Meeting the KWOA directors voted to go on record in support of the Forest Conservation Easement Program (FCEP) Act of 2023 (S. 2631), which was introduced by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS). This legislation is designed to provide landowners with viable options for keeping their woodlands privately owned and functioning as working forests through conservation easement options. It replaces the previously unfunded Healthy Woods Act. The Conservation Fund is coordinating efforts on the national level; learn more at their website at www.conservationfund.org/fcep
The attached documents provide information in a press release, status report, and a letter that KWOA signed on to; an interactive map to contact your senator and representative, and a sample letter you could use to support FCEP.
Even if a conservation easement is not for you, supporting this legislation can help others preserve working forests for our future. If you have explored conservation easements in the past, it is worth reviewing this proposal because the plan fills a gap in existing programs and the economics may work better for you.
If you support FCEP, please reach out to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to ask them to cosponsor the FCEP Act of 2023 (S. 2631/H.R. 3424) and support inclusion of FCEP in the Farm Bill. You can click the link in the Ky congressional districts PDF file below to go directly to your legislators' website. From there you find an option to email your senator/representative using their online form. A sample letter is given below to help you in reaching out to your senator and representative. Checkback for updates on this important legislation.