Funding for land
It has been estimated that new funding and tax incentives in excess of $5 billion per year will be needed over the next 30 years to conserve an adequate network of important landscapes across the United States. In a recent USA Today article quoting senior fellow Armando Carbonell, land trusts are getting part of that job done. But new strategies are being examined for more creative use of philanthropic dollars, in an era of declining public funding and volatile financial markets.
Jay Espy, named last year as a Kingsbury Browne Fellow at the Lincoln Institute, will discuss work he and recent Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies graduate, Gina Schrader, have been conducting over the past year to research effective practices in land conservation and conservation funding, this Thursday Dec. 1 at Lincoln House. The goal of this project is to help improve the funding practices of foundations currently supporting land conservation and to attract more philanthropic dollars by providing information that facilitates the entry of new philanthropic investors into the arena. In the presentation, part of the continuing fall lecture series (free but registration required), Espy will share stories about conservation projects in the northeastern US to illustrate findings of the study.
Espy is executive director of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, a grant making foundation focused on animal welfare, the environment and human well-being, primarily within the state of Maine. Prior to joining the Sewall Foundation in 2008, he served for two decades as president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a state-wide land conservation organization, where he oversaw conservation efforts all along Maine’s coast, including the protection of more than 125,000 acres and establishment of the Maine Land Trust Network which helps build capacity of local land trusts throughout Maine.