At Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) we often ask where will we ride, drive, race, compete, raise foals, and grow hay tomorrow? The expiration of a key land conservation incentive could greatly impact the answer to that question.

There is a general consensus in the equine community that saving land for horses and horse-related activities is a top priority. Open space is at a premium these days and conservation has become an increasingly important issue in the equine world. For this reason, ELCR supports federal legislation that prevents the loss of open space. One of the strongest and most cost effective tools to accomplish this is the enhanced tax incentive for landowners who permanently retire development rights on their land.

This incentive allows farmers, ranchers, horse people, and family land businesses to remain prosperous and viable, when they might otherwise not be able to continue to keep their land open for farming, pasture, breeding, trails, horse shows, competition venues, hay and grain production, or any of the other uses of open space which impact the horse community. However, we are in danger of losing this enhanced incentive which is set to expire at the end of the month.

Unless Congress acts, some of the farms and open fields, essential to our industry and sport, could be lost forever. Two pieces of legislation, HR 2807 and S 526, would make the enhanced incentive permanent, and both bills have strong bi-partisan support.

The ELCR is encouraging the equine community to take immediate action by contacting their senators and representative and asking them to co-sponsor S 526 or HR 2807. If their representative is alre