Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Senator Chuck Grassley have introduced legislation to permanently extend income tax relief for ranchers, farmers and other landowners who donate agricultural land for conservation. The Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act of 2011 would permanently extend an increase in the maximum tax deduction for charitable contributions of conservation easements from 30 percent to 50 percent of adjusted gross income. The bill would also permanently extend the current law allowing a charitable deduction for up to 100 percent of AGI for their donations of conservation easements. Senator Baucus says it’s time to – conserve our land and preserve open space for their kids and grandkids. We need to protect our land for future generations and support the ranchers, farmers and other landowners who rely on it to make a living. Baucus says, – these tax incentives provide the right tools to help landowners move toward conservation. Meanwhile, Senator Grassley points out – economists say if you want more of a certain behavior, give incentives to encourage the behavior. Land conservation is something people want. Grassley adds, -farmers already practice good stewardship of the land used for production agriculture. Conserving land is another example of good stewardship.