North Olympic Land Trust OKs Finn Hall Farm's conservation easement
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North Olympic Land Trust
North Olympic Land Trust Conservation Director Michele d'Hemecourt, center, pauses with Carmen and John Jarvis on the Finn Hall Farm.

Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — Finn Hall Farm, a 61-acre spread in the Dungeneness Valley, is now legally protected for agricultural use in perpetuity, the North Olympic Land Trust said.

The final paperwork for the conservation easement for the farm, which has been operated by John and Carmen Jarvis since the 1950s, was signed Nov. 10, said Matthew Randazzo, land trust development director.

Said Michele d'Hemecourt, the trust's conservation director: “This has always been a project I feel very passionately about, so I am extremely excited to see it finally close.

“Prime farmland soils and iconic family farms like this one are the reasons people first came to the Dungeness Valley.”

Finalizing the conservation easement agreement increases the number of farmland acres conserved by the land trust and its Friends of the Fields farmland division to 338, Randazzo said.

Since 2007

The land trust and Friends of the Fields have been pursuing the conservation of Finn Hall Farm, parts of which have been managed by the Jarvis family for almost a century, since 2007, when Friends of the Fields began the project prior to that organization's merger with the land trust in 2010.

The Clallam County government, working with the land trust and Friends of the Fields, successfully applied to the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service and the state Recreation and Conservation Office for the funding — $410,000 from each organization — to complete the project.

“The conservation of Finn Hall Farm is an important investment in the natural resources of our county and the sustainability of local agriculture,” said county Commissioner Steve Tharinger.

Clallam County Director of Community Development Sheila Roark Miller, whose department oversaw the county government's role in the project, said: “I would direct all credit for this accomplishment entirely to our staff, especially habitat biologist Cathy Lear.”

D'Hemecourt thanked the Clallam County government for sponsoring this project, NRCS and RCO for providing funds, Selinda Barkhuis and Lear for administering the county's portion of the grant process, “and to all of the volunteers and board members at Friends of the Fields who started this project and helped us see it through.

“And, of course,” she continued, “we owe everything to the Jarvis family, whose passion for preserving the future of local farming is the entire reason this project has happened.”

For more information on the land trust, visit www.NOLT.org or phone Randazzo at 360-417-1815.

Last modified: November 25. 2011 9:00AM
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