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Natural resources policy

3/31/04 Congressman Doolittle's office:


An independent panel of experts established last year by the Nature
Conservancy to revamp the environmental group's operations has issued a
final report calling for sweeping reforms that the panel hopes will
become a model of ethical standards for nonprofit groups.

The panel wants the Conservancy to make its finances more public,
scrutinize tax deductions of donors and pledge to avoid financial
transactions that do not meet the proposed standards.

The report says Conservancy board members and their companies should be
prohibited from selling land to the Conservancy or purchasing property
from it, and the Conservancy's conflict of interest policy for board
members and executives should be extended to cover major donors of cash
or land.

The report also says board members and their companies should not enter
into "cause-related marketing" campaigns with the Conservancy, where the
group's logo is shown on products and used in corporate ads.

And the panel wants the Conservancy to prohibit its board members and
their companies from claiming federal income tax deductions for giving
land to the group.

The Conservancy, the world's biggest environmental group, had made many
changes after articles in The Washington Post last year described
controversial practices at the organization.


Jason Larrabee

Senior Legislative Assistant

Congressman John T. Doolittle





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