Conserving Lands, Sustaining Communities
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
There are more than twenty land trust organizations across Washington state, many of them in farmland work. Washington Association of Land Trusts members have protected or restored nearly 37 thousand acres of agricultural lands in the state. The North Olympic Land Trust is a 25 year old organization that NOLT's Tom Sanford says has conserved over 3,000 acres of farmland, fish habitat and forest since its inception.
SANFORD: That has been done on 80 different properties primarily through a tool called a conservation easement where we work with an interested local landowner. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and North Olympic Land Trust that permanently protects a property's conservation values. Basically a conservation easement removes intensive development opportunities from the land forever.
In addition Sanford says that the land trust also purchases land when possible.
SANFORD: Property that we think has some of the values that we really would like to see conserved, and so the land trust owns about 600 acres of land that we protect for its habitat, for its resources and also for public recreation.
Tomorrow Sanford will talk about why more and more landowners are choosing to make the commitment to work with a land trust organization to conserve and protect their land.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.