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 helped purchase a conservation easement on 95 acres of prime farmland on Lopez Island. The Kjargaard/Buffum farm is currently used for grazing several dozen head of livestock and has over a 70 year history of agricultural production. All the soils are USDA prime farmland and are therefore well suited to a wide range of other feed and food crops in the future. A substantial 10% of the property is classified as farmland of statewide importance. The San Juan County Council has identified farmland preservation as one of the most pressing issues in the islands. In addition to the long-term agricultural future of the farm, it is also located along a major Lopez Island road, and preservation of the agricultural viewshed is important to the rural character of the island. The farm has been managed in an ecologically sensitive manner, without the use of harmful products of any kind, and would therefore be a good candidate for future designation in organic agriculture. Due to the mixture of cleared farmland, wetter areas and forest land on the property, the farm provides important habitat for migrating waterfowl and songbirds.