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.
Okanogan County will use this grant to purchase a conservation easement on 110 acres of the Lehman farm in the Methow Valley. The farm contains prime agricultural soils where alfalfa, corn, and hay have been grown for more than 100 years. In addition, the farm borders the Methow River, which provides important habitat for salmon species, deer, bald eagles, and other wildlife. Zoning would allow 22 homes to be built on the property. This project is part of a farmland protection partnership with the Methow Conservancy, a land trust that is working to protect vital farmland between Winthrop and Twisp.