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 Okanogan Land Trust will use this grant to buy a voluntary land preservation agreement, also called a conservation easement, to conserve forever 445 acres of agricultural land in the Okanogan Highlands, about 25 miles northeast of Tonasket. The Teas Ranch contains significant prime farmland soils and is designated as farmland of statewide importance. It also lies in an area designated as grasslands of special significance. The land has been in agricultural production for more than 100 years, and the owner is a fourth-generation rancher. The agreement would enable the owner to solidify the ranching operation and pass it on to the next generations, free from development pressures. The ranch provides habitat for elk, moose, bear, deer, and a wide variety of birds. The agreement also would preserve the scenic beauty of the landscape, including views of nearby Muskrat Lake and a historic homestead. The Okanogan Land Trust will contribute $133,547 in a federal grant and donated land or property interest, and.