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.
Columbia Land Trust acquired a Conservation Easement on 132.81 acres owned by the Justesen Family in the Trout Lake Valley of Klickitat County. The easement forever protects highly productive Class 1 soils that are ideal for cropland and grazing. At an elevation of 1,800 feet and in close proximity to Mt. Adams, the Trout Lake Valley provides an ideal climate for organic farming due to cold winter weather and few pests but a long 180-day growing season that permits 4 harvests per year. The easement extinguishes six development rights and is the second WWRP funded agricultural conservation easement in the Valley. It follows the nearby 215-acre Mountain Meadows Dairy conservation easement purchased in 2013. This easement ensures that Trout Lake’s fifth-generation dairy farms will continue into the future, providing Northwest households with fresh, local, organic milk products; maintaining critical open-space for wildlife and water infiltration; and protecting the Valley’s iconic scenic quality.