2016 Form 990 Due This Monday for Land Trusts Filing on Calendar Year

Most of my posts on this blog relate to issues that are primarily of concern to landowners seeking to conserve their land. However, I also represent a couple of land trusts (along with several other nonprofits having nothing to do with land conservation), and I know that many of my loyal readers are in the land trust community. Land trusts must qualify as 501(c)(3) organizations in order to receive donations of conservation easements. In order to maintain its 501(c)(3) status, a land trust must file certain annual paperwork with the IRS. And it is now that time of year. So, as a reminder to those of you in the land trust community:

Your annual Form 990 is due to the IRS this Monday, May 15. This assumes that your land trust is a calendar-year filer for tax purposes. If your land trust has a fiscal year that does not end in December, you will have a different due date. If you are not sure whether your land trust has filed its 2016 Form 990 yet, you can check its filing status using the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Select Check tool.

For more information, you might wish to read the article that Forbes published yesterday on the Form 990 filing requirements.

Werowocomoco to Become National Park

It’s official: Werowocomoco will become a national park. Specifically, it will become part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail once it is opened to the public.

Werowocomoco was the capital of the Powhatan Chiefdom in the early 1600s during the time when the English were first colonizing what would later become Virginia. Many of you will remember the familiar story of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, much of which took place in Werowocomoco. The ruins of the town are located on the bank of the York River in Gloucester County. Continue reading Werowocomoco to Become National Park

National Park Service Awards Nearly $2.7 Million to Protect Civil War Battlefields in Virginia

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the National Park Service has awarded nearly $2.7 million for projects to protect nine Civil War battlefields located in seven Virginia counties. Continue reading National Park Service Awards Nearly $2.7 Million to Protect Civil War Battlefields in Virginia

VOF Increases Conservation Easement Fees, Financial Aid

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) has decided to begin imposing fees on all donations of conservation easements, effective January 1, 2016. This decision was made during VOF’s quarterly Board of Trustees meeting held on June 25, 2015. The official announcement of the decision was posted to VOF’s website in a blog post dated July 2, 2015. Let’s walk through the announcement and see how land preservation in Virginia might be affected. Continue reading VOF Increases Conservation Easement Fees, Financial Aid

Steaming Through the Past

On Saturday, June 13, 2015, many people between Lynchburg and Petersburg beheld what many of them had not seen in decades, if ever: a coal-fired steam engine rumbling down the tracks. Specifically, the old Norfolk & Western No. 611, a “J” class locomotive originally built in 1950. Continue reading Steaming Through the Past