By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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The grants, administered by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, are awarded for farmland preservation, land and water conservation, recreational trails and salmon recovery.
Since 1990, the office has supplied a total of $17 million in grant money to Jefferson County.
That was celebrated at a reception Thursday at Finnriver Farm and Cidery in Chimacum, which benefited from a $205,000 grant in 2009.
“The funding was incredibly useful and allowed us to keep the farm instead of having to sell when we lost our partners,” said Finnriver co-owner Crystie Kisler.
“But perhaps more profound was a vote of support for small-scale family farming and land preservation.”
About 40 people attended the reception, including Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, and Port Townsend Mayor David King.
“This program is supported by everyone from timber companies to Boeing to individual landowners and makes a lot of sense,” said Tharinger, who represents the 24th District, which includes Jefferson and Clallam counties.
“The state has always recognized the value in investing in its recreational landscapes,” Tharinger said.
“It's part of the ethic of the state, and the coalition speaks to that.”
“These grants have funded many of the projects that have made our community great,” said state Wildlife and Recreation Coalition Development Director Sarah Stewart, a Port Townsend native.
“We want to make sure that qualifying organizations are aware of the program and are prepared to submit applications.”
Recent grant recipients in Jefferson County are conservation projects in the Queets and Clearwater Rivers for $1,066,322 and Dabob Bay for $2,909,812 along with a $468,500 grant to purchase a conservation easement for the Short Family Farm in Chimacum.
Application information is at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-Grant-App.
For more information, go to www.wildliferecreation.org.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.