Home > News > Blog > Aaron Lefland > 2023 Advocacy Days – Staff Reflection and Recap


Washington Monument in the spring at a park

Two of the most important aspects of advocacy are connection and empathy. The joining of these two nurtures a space from which a shared understanding of needs, desires, and fears can be evinced, explained, and acted upon. Participating in the Land Trust Alliance’s Advocacy Days and listening to land trusts from across the country express their passions, frustrations, and visions for land conservation was insightful, humbling, and inspiring. 

As a state, our congressional delegation are unyielding in their support for legislation that protects our lands and waters for our current and future generations. The value in having legislators like these is that it makes our advocacy easier, but more important, it amplifies our voices beyond our town and state lines.

During our visit to Washington D.C., CLCC staff met with the offices of Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Jahana Hayes, and Jim Himes to advocate for important conservation-related programs, including:

  • 2023 Farm Bill, which is the largest single source of federal funding for private land conservation, and funds programs like the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Agricultural Land Easement (ALE), and Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP). More in the LTA factsheet HERE.
  • Forest Conservation Easement Program (FCEP), which would expand the Healthy Forests Reserve Program by creating a complementary program to ACEP and fill a funding gap for forested land conservation. More in the LTA factsheet HERE.
  • Connecticut River Watershed Partnership Act (CRWPA), which would create a dedicated funding stream to leverage state, local and private investments in nonregulatory conservation, restoration, education and recreation efforts in the watershed. More in the LTA factsheet HERE.
  • Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), which will be the most significant investment in wildlife conservation in a generation. The bill would fund proactive efforts to address the nation’s looming wildlife crisis and to prevent species from becoming endangered while also conserving and restoring habitats, fighting invasive species, reintroducing native species and tackling emerging diseases. More in the LTA factsheet HERE.

Meetings with staff from the U.S. Forest Service, USDA, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were reassuring in the sense that there was a willingness from all participants to work together to find practical solutions to endemic problems but also the zeal to celebrate land conservation successes.

CLCC is proud to be your voice for conservation at the US Capitol, and thanks the Land Trust Alliance for organizing this important advocacy event. We hope you’ll join us at next year’s Advocacy Days!

Aaron Lefland
Deputy Director
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Yaw Owusu Darko
Project Specialist
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