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.
Davenport Cattle is a multi-generational family-owned cow-calf, hay and grain production operation that was established in 1876. The proposal is for an agricultural conservation easement to permanently protect 5,867 acres of farm and ranch land in Klickitat County by extinguishing 958 development rights. This farmland preservation project is one of the largest and oldest farms in Klickitat County and likely ranks similarly for Washington State. The proposed project consists of 27 separate parcels under two different family ownerships that support different aspects of the overall operation through collaborative management. Protection of 5,867 acres and removal of 958 development rights for $3.5 million provides RCO with a unique opportunity to accomplish a lot of farmland protection for the cost. This project will be both efficient and effective.The Central Klickitat Conservation District (CKCD) and the State Conservation Commission (SCC) developed this project in partnership. SCC will hold and steward the easement backed up by the full resources of Washington State. As the local entity, CKCD will be contracted to monitor the easement on an annual basis. SCC and CKCD have a successful track record of completing and monitoring conservation easements. SCC and CKCD are both governmental organizations founded in Washington State law with good governance practices in place to assure transparency, accountability and sound stewardship of public fund investment.