Farmland Preservation protects valuable farmland and habitat for recreationally important animals, like salmon, birds, deer, and elk. These projects allow families to continue farming the land they have worked on for generations, and provide Washingtonians with healthy local food and a diverse economy. WWRP is the only source of farmland preservation funding in the state budget.
This grant allowed Thurston County to purchase a permanent conservation (agricultural) easement on 510 (509.65) acres of the 721-acre Black River Ranch, thereby ensuring this property is available for agricultural production in perpetuity. The county loses more than 1,000 acres of farmland a year to other uses. The Black River Ranch is one of the largest farms in the county and contains a diverse complex of wetlands, floodplain, riparian, and upland habitat, as well as extensive farmlands. The property is between large protected areas – the Glacial Heritage Preserve to the east and Mima Creek Preserve to the west. The project is an innovative partnership project between conservation land trusts, agricultural land trusts, local government, tribal government, private landowners, and state and federal agencies.