Text from the Recreational Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Plan, 2008, Page 16
Develop new incentives to maintain continuity of large landscapes. Develop conservation cooperatives for lands divested by timber companies and other large land holders. Encourage programs that maintain conservation easements or continuity of lands that have value to wildlife.
Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have introduced legislation with the goal of keeping farmland in production. Maintaining production can be an important tool to protect fish and wildlife. Establishing incentives in the estate tax is one way to keep farmland in production from generation to generation. For example, if a farming family inherits farmland from another family member, and they keep it in agriculture; they would be exempt from paying the estate tax as long as the heir(s) keep it in agriculture. If at any time the heirs decide to sell the property, or convert it to a non-agriculture activity (i.e. housing development), they would have to pay the estate tax at the time of the decedent’s death, plus any appreciated interest. Similarly, landowners who inherit forestland and keep the property in a forest stewardship plan, also wouldn’t have to pay the estate tax as long as they are managing it consistent with its forest stewardship plan. Safeguards would have to be inserted to prevent manipulation.