In case you missed these notices, I wanted you to see that NC is making strides in alternative energy and local foods movement.
Land and Food Connection
The Triangle community is a leader in the local foods movement. Part of living sustainably is adequate local resources available to provide residents with the food that is grown locally and does not include hidden transportation costs.
When stormy weather is predicted we all rush to the supermarket and stock up on the basics. I jokingly call this the bread, milk, video and beer run. All kidding aside, did you realize that our local grocery stores only have enough food on hand for 3 days? It’s a just-in-time world for supermarkets. Fresh produce, meats, dairy and packaged goods are trucked in a on a daily basis. Without new arrivals, the grocery shelves would be bare is less than a week. Availability, independence, freshness and embedded transportation costs are the reason why the local food movement is so important. Remember back to your home economics courses, fresh foods have more nutritional content.
According to Eating Well Magazine author Rachael Moeller Gorman fresh produce purchased when in season has the highest nutrient yield, assuming that the plant was harvested after the fruit or vegetable reached its fullest ripeness. Produce picked prior to full ripening with the intent of allowing it to ripen over time has less nutritional value than on-the-vine ripened produce, she adds.
Preserving farmland and making it profitable for home owners to grant easements is part of the story.
Dear friend,We have an immediate, now-or-never opportunity to include two critical conservation measures in the tax bill that Congress is negotiating with the White House: full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and making permanent the enhanced conservation easement tax incentive.
Please call North Carolina’s Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan TODAY to encourage them to support including in the tax bill provisions that will:Make the expanded federal conservation tax incentive permanent, and
Authorize full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Senator Burr was the first Republican co-sponsor of the LWCF full funding bill. He also is a sponsor of the Senate bill to make the enhanced easement tax incentive permanent, which has broad bipartisan support. Please thank him for his leadership and urge him to maintain his support on these issues. You can reach his office at 202-224-3154.
Senator Hagan is an avid supporter of outdoor recreation and land and water conservation. But she has yet to sign on as a co-sponsor of either bill. Please ask her to commit NOW to supporting these critical measures. Call her office at 202-224-6342.
About the Land and Water Conservation Fund:
LWCF is the federal program that funds projects to protect irreplaceable natural areas and improve outdoor recreational opportunities nationwide. It works in partnership with state and local efforts to acquire and protect parkland, wildlife refuges, forests, trails and other areas.
In North Carolina alone, more than $180 million from LWCF has been used to acquire properties like these, supporting our state’s tourism industry and the health and well-being of its citizens. LWCF has been chronically underfunded since its founding, leading to numerous missed opportunities to invest in these important natural areas.
About the federal tax incentive for conservation:
The enhanced incentive helps landowners of modest means choose conservation by raising the maximum deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement from 30 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in any year to 50 percent; allowing qualified farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income; and increasing the number of years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years.This cost-effective incentive makes conservation a real option for farmers, ranchers and other modest-income landowners. The incentive increased the pace of easement donations by a third, to over a million acres a year, before it expired at the end of 2009.
Thank you for calling Senators Hagan and Burr! Please forward this message to your friends, and ask them to urge Senators Hagan and Burr to save the places we love by pushing for passage of these critical conservation measures before time runs out!
Obama bans offshore oil drilling
In a reversal of an earlier decision, President Obama has banned drilling for oil and gas offshore. According to a story in the Charlotte Observer, there will be no exploratory drilling through at least 2017. The administration has also announced that it would speed up the permitting process for offshore wind development. According to the story, a spokesperson for Gov. Bev Perdue indicated that the governor wants to see wind turbines off the coast.
Report: NC offshore wind potential
According to a report recently issued by the National Wildlife Federation, the ocean off the coast of North Carolina can supply up to 55GW electric power. For the report, click here. For a press release, click here.