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.
Whatcom County will use this grant to acquire a conservation easement on 100 acres of prime agricultural soils and associated forestland on the Jacoby property. This property is located 13 miles east of Bellingham, WA in the South Fork Nooksack River watershed and is adjacent to WA Department of Natural Resources land and Whatcom County South Fork Park. The acquisition will remove 2 development rights and protect working lands in an area of increasing development pressure. It will also contribute to the agricultural economy of Whatcom County. The Jacoby property supports Coldstream Farm, a local dairy that is a leader in environmental sustainability. Protection of this property also supports Whatcom County’s goal of protecting 100,000 acres of land for agriculture, as stated in the county’s Comprehensive Plan. Whatcom County is requesting funding from RCO to support the acquisition of a conservation easement on the two agricultural designated parcels, which comprise 85 acres and the removal of 1 development right. The third 15-acre parcel is Designated Forest Land and funding to remove this parcel’s 1 development right will come solely from Whatcom County. One conservation easement will be placed over the 100 acres total, protecting both agriculture and working forest.