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 more than 17.9 acres of the Matheson Farm in the central part of the county. Matheson Farm raises cattle and yaks for meat and sells most of her products locally. Her farm is near a very busy intersection with the Guide Meridian in Whatcom County along a development corridor. Protecting her farm would ensure that development didn’t sprawl to the west. In 2001, the County set a goal to protect 100,000 acres of agricultural land, but has only 88,000 acres in agricultural zoning, which means the remaining acres must come from land zoned for rural development, such as the Matheson Farm. The primary benefit of the project is to ensure the permanent preservation and maintenance of a large block of rural land as agricultural land and open space. Whatcom County will contribute $132,700 in Conservation Futures and a federal grant.