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.
Whatcom County will use this grant to conserve the 100-acre Jacoby Farm in the South Fork Nooksack River valley to the east of Bellingham. The County will buy a voluntary land preservation agreement, also called a conservation easement, which will prevent the farm from being developed and ensure the land will be available for farming forever. The Jacoby family has lived in the south fork valley for generations and farms the land for grass-based livestock. In 2001, the County set a goal to protect 100,000 acres of agricultural land, but has only 88,000 acres in agricultural zoning. The land preservation agreement for the Jacoby Farm will help the County meet its goal. The primary benefit of the project is to ensure the permanent preservation and maintenance of a large block of land as agricultural land and open space. Whatcom County will contribute $229,000 in Conservation Futures.