Placer Harvest Celebration
Nov. 22 Event Celebrates Placer Agriculture; Features Dinner, Art, Auction & Fun Entertainment
by Linda Raimondi
Hello Members and Friends,
We have exciting news to announce! The first major fundraiser for the Placer Land Trust has been scheduled for Friday, November 22, 2002, at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.
Placer Land Trust is proud to sponsor the first annual Placer Harvest Celebration. This will be a kick-off dinner and auction in conjunction with the 9th Annual Mountain Mandarin Festival (MMF) on Nov. 23-24.
The MMF organizers graciously offered us the use of Placer Hall at the Fairgrounds to hold this one-of-a-kind fundraising event. The Board has been working hard to put together an entertaining, educational and lucrative event.
First off, the dinner will showcase PlacerGROWN produce. Chef Ty Rowe of Bootlegger’s in Auburn is using locally grown products to create a first-class and unique meal. We’re fortunate that Ty has agreed to help during this busy time of year! With dinner will be free wine-and beer-tasting.
Placer County wines and beers will also be available for purchase, and we’ll have music and displays highlighting the history of agriculture in Placer County.
Following dinner, professional auctioneer Dan Macon will auction off fabulous items from across Placer County. We have a great selection of items at various prices; these items make great holiday gifts, and the proceeds go directly to fund the Placer Land Trust’s mission to preserve farmlands and open space!
These are exciting times as we promote our organization throughout the County. It’s important to get the message out to the public about the valuable work we do. As you know, precious land is disappearing at an alarming rate, and we can only preserve the wonderful agricultural and natural lands in Placer County with the help of our members and friends.
Not only will the Placer Harvest Celebration help us to get the word out, but it will also help us raise much-needed funds to accomplish our mission.
We kept the cost of admission down to $25 per person … you won’t find a better evening’s dinner and entertainment at that price!
So why not have a great evening, celebrate our County’s rich agricultural heritage by partaking of its harvest, and support Placer Land Trust at the same time?
Please join us at the Placer Harvest Celebration.
Hopefully by this time you’ve received your invitation to this event. If you have, please RSVP by Nov. 15. If you haven’t, there are still tickets available, so call Jeff Darlington at (916) 663-1476 to join us! Also, please give us a call if you’re interested in volunteering or helping with the up-front event costs.
We hope to see and meet you at the Placer Harvest Celebration.
Thank You Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust
The Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust (ETGT), founded by Auburn artist, natural resource planner, and conservationist Susan Cooley-Gilliom, contributed to several Placer Land Trust projects this year, and our sincere thanks go out to Susan and ETGT. Most recently, ETGT donated $13,000 to assist Placer Land Trust in developing an “oak woodland preserve” conservation easement and management plan for the Auburn School Park Preserve. ETGT has been a consistent and valuable supporter of our efforts to preserve land in Placer County. ETGT has contributed to several other PLT projects, including Stagecoach Preserve and the Bear River Watershed project. Thank you Susan and Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust for your support of Placer Land Trust!
Using the Tool Kit: Tax Benefits of Donating Land
This is the first in an on-going series called “Using the Tool Kit” that explains some of the ways PLT and landowners work together to preserve land.
Receiving tax benefits is one of the major incentives for landowners to donate land to a 501(c)(3) non-profit such as Placer Land Trust (PLT).
Because we live in a country that rewards charitable giving, donations of land to qualified non-profits such as PLT can reduce your federal income tax/or estate tax. California state taxes may also be reduced.
Oftentimes, the amount of tax benefits for the landowner can equal the monetary value of the gift, meaning the landowner can preserve the land forever…without losing a dime.
How does it work?
Well, first of all, to qualify for tax deductions, the land donation must include all “substantial” interest in the property. Also, the landowner must first obtain a qualified appraisal, which sets the value of the donation, and subsequently, the tax benefits.
Once the value of the property is known, the real fun begins…
The donor’s tax deduction in the year of the donation is limited to 30% of their income that year. However, the donor may recover the remaining tax deductions (up to 100%) within five years.
Here’s a fictional example of how donating land can affect your taxes. Let’s say you have a steady annual income of $70,000 and you donate property value at $100,000 to PLT in 2002 (it’s not too late!).
1) You would receive a tax deduction of 30% of your 2002 income ($21,000).
2) For the following three tax years, you would receive the same $21,000 tax deduction, bringing your cumulative tax savings to $84,000.
3) In the 5th tax year (the last allowed by the IRS), you would be able to deduct the final $16,000, which would bring your total tax savings to $100,000 – equal t the amount of your land donation!
Of course, this is an over-simplification of some pretty complex federal and state laws. Before deciding to donate land, it is essential that the landowner seek independent legal and tax advice. This will ensure that the donor fully understands the nature of the transaction and what the anticipated tax benefits will be.
The point of this article is that the donation of land does not have to be a huge financial burden to the landowner – you can get value back in tax savings!
For more information, see our website (www.placerlandtrust.org) or give us a call!
From the Board Room
Placer County Agriculture Benefits Us All
Fall is here…you can feel it in the morning air and in the quality of the light. After the harvest season is finished, things start to slow down a bit for most of us in the “ag business” and there’s time for a little reflection.
I’d like to take a moment to highlight the status of our agricultural economy here in Placer County, as detailed in the 2001 Agricultural Crop Report published by the Placer County Dept. of Agriculture.
Our agricultural economy continues to be vital to the well being of Placer County. Agriculture provides local jobs, locally grown food, and the rural environment we all enjoy. In 2001, the total gross value for harvested crops was over $75 million, representing an increase of over $6 million from the previous year.
Although the County’s largest crop, rice, declined in 2001 and livestock and poultry were relatively flat, there were significant gains in other agricultural areas. One of the most impressive gains was in Placer County’s grape production. While still a small portion of the county’s harvest, grape production doubled in 2001, and recently planted vineyards bode well for continued increases. fruit and nut crops have increased in overall value with the largest increases in Mandarin Oranges and walnuts.
While our agricultural economy continues to grow and evolve, there are serious threats to farming as a way of life…one of which is the loss of productive farmlands to development.
I urge everyone who cares about our farmlands to get involved in promoting Placer County agriculture. For example, PLT is committed to working with agricultural landowners to preserve their land for future generations. Together we can make a difference. Please call me at 530-889-7372 to discuss way you can help!
New PLT Website is Sign of the Times
Check out the Placer Land Trust website for new features, photos, and links
The new Placer Land Trust website (www.placerlandtrust.org) highlights the renewed focus of the Placer Land Trust, showcasing our efforts in the media of the 21st century.
Our website includes several new features and links, including GIS maps and photography of existing PLT project sites.
For example, visitors can see Auburn’s Stagecoach Preserve from an aerial view, along with maps and documents about the preserve and our plan to restore Canyon Creek. As information becomes available on this and other projects, it will be posted on the website so members can track our progress.
Other new features include an extensive “links” page that directs visitors to websites about land conservation, agriculture, and Placer County information. In the near future, the new website will include an online donation function on a secure server, which will allow members the option of donating online with a credit card instead of writing a check.
The former Placer Land Trust & Nature Center website (www.pltpnc.org) will stay on the Internet for a while, redirecting visitors to the new website.
“We owe a big thank Foothill Associates, and specifically Ann Ranlett, for helping us launch and maintain our new website,” said Jeff Darlington, Executive Director. “I’d also like to thank WizWire in Auburn for providing us with free dial-up Internet access.”
As a result of our website change, our email addresses have also changed. Jeff Darlington can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and any member of our Board can be reached at email@example.com. For general PLT inquires, you’re also free to use firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitors to the website will also see issues of Land Lines posted there for viewing and/or downloading (in PDF format). If in the future you’d like to save paper by viewing Land Lines on our website or having it e-mailed to you, please let us know.
Also, we encourage you to tell your friends and family about our new website and help spread the word!
Please feel free to give us a call or shoot us an e-mail with your comments and suggestions … we’d love to hear from you!
How You Can Help
Volunteers & Materials Needed
Placer Land Trust is looking for volunteers to help with two projects.
First of all, we’re looking for individuals to help us set up and staff the Placer Harvest Celebration on Friday, Nov. 22 in Auburn. If you can help, please contact Linda Raimondi at (530) 887-3458.
Secondly, we are beginning the restoration of Canyon Creek in Auburn, If anyone is interested in removing non-native and invasive plants, doing some selective weed-whacking, or helping plant native seedlings/saplings, please contact Jeff Darlington at (916) 663-1476.
Our material wish list includes fax machine, copy machine, color printer, scanner, hand-held GPS device, and miscellaneous office supplies. Please call if you can help!
Mara Bresnick & Mark Perry
by Bob Cooley-Gilliom
Placer Land Trust is pleased to announce the addition of two new Directors to our Board. Mara Bresnick and Mark Perry joined our Board in July and September, respectively.
“We’re thrilled to have Mara and Mark on the Board,” said Jeff Darlington, Executive Director. “These two individuals bring a determination and a commitment to preserving the unique landscapes of Placer County, and they are a pleasure to work with!”
Mara Bresnick has served as a governing Board member of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and as a Board member and past President of Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE). Mara has been involved in land use issues for many years, as an attorney in Southern California, and in various other capacities since moving to Placer County in 1988.
Mara currently owns Foxglove Environmental in Meadow Vista, providing environmental consulting services. She lives in Meadow Vista with her husband Dan Eaton, and thoroughly enjoys the surrounding Sierras and foothills through wintertime cross-country skiing and summertime hiking and bicycling.
“Placer County’s agricultural heritage and once bountiful natural landscapes must be protected for future generations,” said Mara. “I’m thrilled to be joining this dedicated and passionate group of people to work with the entire community to achieve these goals.”
Mark Perry comes from a long-time Placer County family, whose roots were established here during the Gold Rush in 1849. He has worked for the California Department of Parks & Recreation as a ranger at Folsom Lake State Park, and in various capacities in landscape design, irrigation and construction.
Mark has designed and built sections of the Western States Trail near Granite Bay, and has done extensive work along the trails of the North Fork of the American River near his home in Auburn. He enjoys trail running, bicycling, golf, fishing, upland game hunting, and skiing.
“Pausing to enjoy our world’s beauty is important to me,” said Mark, “and Placer County provides countless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Through my work with the Placer Land Trust, I’d like to be counted among Placer County’s caring residents dedicated to making smart decisions about how our beautiful lands are used and preserved for all time.”
Executive Director’s Report
Volunteers Are the Real Heroes in Protecting Placer County Lands
When I’m out in the community talking about my work with the Placer Land Trust, people often ask me, “How can PLT juggle so many different projects at once with only one staff person?”
Well, let me tell you a little secret: I may be the only paid Placer Land Trust staff person, but I’m not the only one doing the work! As is often the case with non-profits, we rely heavily on volunteers to get results. It is the caring and dedicated folks of this County who are the real heroes in preserving land.
Let me start by giving kudos to our Board of Directors. We are lucky to have such a dedicated group of Directors serving PLT. Not only do they provide the organizational direction and governance of a traditional Board, but they also volunteer countless hours of their personal time working on projects. they spend their after-work hours making phone calls , evaluating potential projects, reviewing project surveys, raising money, reaching out to out community….and just last week they were hard at work over pizza stuffing and addressing invitations to the Placer Harvest Celebration!
Equally important is the volunteer help we get from our members. WE have an Advisory Council made up of PLT members that provide much of our professional expertise. It’s quite a group: non-profit experts, land use planners, attorneys, publishers, financial experts, environmental consultants, technology gurus, community planners,, ecologists, educators, and more!
And finally, we couldn’t be successful without “outside” help. There are a lot of individuals ans businesses out there who have not been able to contribute financially in these tough times, but who have donated substantial in-kind services or expertise.
So make no mistake, Placer Land Trust is about a large number of people committed to making a difference. Success demands more than the efforts of one person or even a handful of people.
My personal thanks go out to the hundreds of people who have contributed to our efforts to preserve open space and farmlands in Placer County. We can’t do it without you!