The Nevada Conservation League is the independent political voice of the conservation community. We work to maintain and enhance the natural character of Nevada and the quality of life for Nevadans through effective advocacy, the election of pro-conservation candidates, and building collaboration.
The Nevada Conservation League works with our supporters, public interest groups, businesses, labor organizations, government agencies and many others to promote sensible conservation policies through education and advocacy.
Those of us who work for the environment know that Nevadans want a clean environment -- but we also know that, when it comes to the environment, our elected officials have not always kept pace with what Nevada wants.
There are many wonderful non-profit organizations in Nevada that seek to improve the way our natural resources are managed. The staff, board members, and many volunteers of the various non-profit conservation groups in Nevada constitute an informal community of dedicated folks who care about conservation, and who devote their time and energy to making the state a better place to live. What fuels their work is their conviction that they speak for more than themselves and their groups' members -- they speak for the vast majority of Nevada's citizens, who want a clean environment for themselves and their children.
However, the IRS places strict limits on the amount of lobbying most non-profit groups can do, and groups can't get involved in political elections in any way. Under chapter 501(c)(3) of the U.S. internal revenue code, the organizations that can accept tax-deductible contributions cannot spend a "substantial part" of their budget on lobbying, and can do no campaigning and can make no endorsements of candidates for elected office.
The Nevada Conservation League is different. We are a non-profit, non-partisan group organized under a different chapter of the internal revenue code, 501(c)(4), which allows us to accept contributions, but does not allow our donors to claim contributions to us as a deduction on their income tax returns.
We can lobby, endorse candidates, and even make political contributions through an affiliated political action committee, allowing NCL to close what we call the "cycle of accountability"**.
Here’s how it works:
- Throughout the year, the conservation community communicates its various policy goals to legislators.
- During the Nevada legislative session, these legislators enact or reject the conservation community agenda.
- In the primaries and general elections every two years, the public elects or rejects candidates for office.
These three processes -- conservation communication, legislation, and election -- determine how environmental decisions are made in the state of Nevada, but they aren't very well connected. At every step of the way, our elected officials need to understand what Nevadans want, and we need to know how our elected officials voted on the issues that matter to us. However, most non-profit groups can only get involved in this vital work in a very limited way.
Nevada Conservation League, as a 501 (c)(4) organization, seeks to link the three key processes of conservation communication, legislation, and election by:
- Working with the conservation community to evaluate and to prioritize its goals for an upcoming session;
- Training grassroots activists about the state legislative process, and encouraging citizens to get involved;
- Letting Nevadans know what is happening during a legislative session, and at the end of a session issuing a comprehensive Conservation Scorecard -- so that all citizens can know how their legislators voted on the key environmental issues;
- Evaluating candidates for office, and making formal endorsements;
- Working to elect pro-conservation candidates to the Nevada Legislature through contributions, independent expenditures and volunteer assistance.
**Courtesy of Joel Bradshaw & Associates
Board of Directors
- Jennifer Taylor, Chair
- Robert Buntjer, Vice Chair
- Donna Toussaint, Secretary
- Bob Coyle, Treasurer
- Chris Brooks
- Jeff Gale
- Kathleen Dickinson
- Paul Thomsen
- Lindsay Harrison
- Scot Rutledge, Executive Director
- Kyle Davis, Political Director