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.
Washington Farmland Trust will use this grant to acquire a permanent agricultural conservation easement on Coyote Bank Farm, conserving 11.11 acres and extinguishing the farm’s remaining development right. Coyote Bank Farm is located just outside of Acme, WA in the South Fork Nooksack River Valley in Whatcom County. The farm is currently owned and operated by Chris and Annie Elder who purchased the farm in 2021 and bring extensive farming experience from working as farm managers and farming leased land before purchasing their own farm. The property is adjacent to Jones Creek, and surrounded by several hundred acres of agricultural land and open space that is being conserved as part of a larger conservation initiative of Whatcom County. The agricultural conservation easement will ensure the property will be protected as working farmland, and allow for compatible restoration targeting priority species and habitats without compromising the agricultural viability of the farm.This project is a high priority for WA Farmland Trust because it removes development potential from the rural zone and preserves a small-scale farm keeping it in open space, available for farming, and more affordable to future generations of farmers. Whatcom Co. has a PDR program, and WA Farmland Trust partners with Whatcom Co. on farmland conservation projects, but as an employee of Whatcom County the current land owner is not eligible to participate in the County PDR program.