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.
The Rader Road Ranch project, also known as Hairpin Ranch, was successfully completed and featured the implementation of a conservation easement held by Forterra and Kittitas County as Co-Grantees that conserved 276 acres of working ranchland in Kittitas County, including 20 acres of riparian land surrounding Naneum Creek and 256 acres of upland containing prime agricultural soils. The project prevented future development of the property through the extinguishment of 65 development rights, and it ensured the continued use of the land for agricultural use, including cattle pasture, cattle ranching, and equestrian raising. The project protected this keystone property and ensured the continued ecological role it plays in large, ecosystem-scale strategies to support terrestrial and aquatic wildlife populations, such of trout, salmon, pheasant, quail, grouse, turkey, ducks and geese, big horn sheep, elk, and other game species. Conservation of the property has protected one river mile along Naneum Creek, which provides habitat for Rainbow Trout, Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Multiple sculpin species, Multiple sucker species, Speckled dace, Longnose dace, Redside Shiner, Northern Pikeminnow, Western Brook Lamprey, and Crayfish. The conservation of Hairpin Ranch also increased the resilience of the Yakima River watershed by preventing future residential development that would have degraded the health of the watershed. The project ensured the continued use of the property as working agricultural land, and therefore increases the benefits to watershed health, including downstream users, aquafer recharge and storage, and water availability.