Clallam County approves second of two-part conservation project

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County commissioners have approved a $100,000 grant from the Clallam County Conservation Futures Fund to the North Olympic Land Trust that will pay for a conservation easement for the 9.79-acre Dungeness Hub property across from SunLand in Sequim.

Tuesday’s action was the second of a two-part project that included a $400,000 grant approved Jan. 3 to preserve the 54.6-acre Mid Valley Farm.

Clallam County Habitat Biologist Rebecca Mahan said the purchase is of just under 10 acres of not only some farmland, but also some infrastructure that goes along with farming.

According to a March 14, 2022 letter from NOLT to the advisory board, conservation of the 10-acre Dungeness Hub will ensure that its more than 7.5 acres of prime farm soils and vital packing shed and cold storage will remain available for production and distribution.

The infrastructure is integral to the operations of one of only two remaining dairies in the area, Maple View Dairy, the letter stated.

Clallam Commissioner Randy Johnson said, “So the easement is going to be a little bit different than most easements because there’s infrastructure involved and you have to maintain it.”

“Yeah, it’s a little different than the last one,” Mahan said.

Since its founding in 1990, NOLT has worked with landowners and the community to conserve more than 3,300 acres across the North Olympic Peninsula for farms, fish and forests.

In Clallam County, the average farm size is 44 acres, according to NOLT.

However, in the past 70 years, more than 75 percent of Clallam’s farmland has been converted to other uses.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at Brian.Gawley@ sound publishing.com

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