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.
Blue Mountain Ranch consists of 2,593 acres of farmland and habitat area situated between Stevens Ridge, Pataha Creek Canyon and the W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area located in Garfield County. Blue Mountain Land Trust is proposing to acquire 562 acres of farmland on the Ranch via an agricultural land easement that encompasses both prime and statewide important soil. Approximately 182 acres of the farmland are enrolled in CRP and the remainder is used to produce canola and wheat. The landowner plans to reserve 10 acres for two residential building envelopes. Wheat production yields approximately 60 bushels/acre and canola production yields approximately 2 tons/acre. The productive farmland is leased to two farmers. Farmland is primarily located on the higher elevation grounds near county road access. Farmland protection will enable the Land Trust to: 1) protect and enhance prime agricultural land, 2) protect and enhance soils of statewide importance, 3) keep viable farmland in production, 4) promote and establish conservation farming practices to promote soil health, and 5) actively steward connected landscapes for ecological health in perpetuity through site-specific management plans. This project is part of a larger landscape-scale conservation effort that will will unite three properties with WDFW Wooten Wildlife Area to provide contiguous wildlife habitat and protect important farmland among a landscape dominated by increased commercial and residential development pressure.