Clallam County pledges $1.5 million toward preserving two farms

Commitment would provide conservation easement on properties

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners approved committing up to $1.5 million from the conservation futures fund in 2025 for the North Olympic Land Trust to buy conservation easements on Cameron Farm Estates and the Heifer Farm.

“These are probably some of the most prime farm properties anyone could ever see,” Commissioner Randy Johnson said. “Actually, they are zoned so that you could drop 30 houses on them, in those particular properties, if you subdivide them and did that.

“The whole reason for conservation futures is to preserve farmland and, in my mind, this is exactly what we need to be doing that,” he said. “And again, it is prioritizing over a period of time. But to have properties this significant suddenly become available is very unique. Since I’ve been a commissioner anyway.”

The $1.5 million in funding, which would be dispersed in 2025, would provide $630,000 for a conservation easement on the 40-acre Cameron Estates farm, with the remainder going to easements on the 85-acre Heifer Farms North farm and 58-acre Heifeer Farms South, depending upon how much money is left in the fund and the final purchase price.

The North Olympic Land Trust is seeking several other funding sources for the purchases.

Clallam County Administrator Todd Mielke said the $1.5 million commitment will fully deplete the conservation futures fund until it replenishes itself over the next several years.

“It sounds like that’s the understanding the conservation futures funding board has and because of the nature of these opportunities is recommending that we take advantage of it while it exists,” Commissioner Mark Ozias 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.

________

Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached by email at brian.gawley@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Wind returns for Day 3 of Race to Alaska

Teams pushing north along Vancouver Island

Port Townsend pool on track to open in July

Task force favors Chimacum Park for replacement

‘Positive support’ shown for Recompete grant

Port of PA extends lease with Homeland Security

Jason Minnoch, left, and Jim deBord move a set of musical chimes as Al Oman and Jo Johnston look on during preparations on Wednesday for Sunday’s playground opening of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles. The playground, rebuilt by volunteers in May after much of it was destroyed by arson in December, will host an official reopening and dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Reopening ceremony Sunday

Jason Minnoch, left, and Jim deBord move a set of musical chimes… Continue reading

Port Townsend, YMCA sued over 2022 pool ban

Confrontation with transgender employee at center of lawsuit

More muscle than wind in Phase 2 of Race to Alaska

Winds die down, force sailors to alternate with human power

Chris Fidler.
Port Angeles man honored with Distinguished Alumni award

Chris Fidler of Port Angeles has received the Distinguished Alumni… Continue reading

Members of the Makah Tribe bring a gray whale to shore on May 18, 1999. A federal ruling Thursday will allow the tribe to take 25 whales in a 10-year period. (Peninsula Daily News file)
Makah Tribe granted waiver to hunt gray whales

Ruling to allow tribe 25 in 10-year period

Team Roscoe Pickle Train of Port Townsend, which includes Chris Iruz, Enzo Dougherty, Odin Smith and Pearl Smith, were first out of the Victoria Inner Harbour at the start of the Race to Alaska on Tuesday. The cannon fired at noon and 38 racers headed to Ketchikan, a 750-mile contest that started in Port Townsend on Sunday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Racers restart in Victoria on their way to Alaska

One rescued by Coast Guard; two others try wheeling over land

Sequim city council members approved a $2.45 million purchase of 16.52 acres off West Hendrickson Road to be used for a future park. It remains closed to the public as it’s being leased for agricultural use until plans and funding can be put in place for the future park. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Sequim purchases 16 acres for park

City negotiated with McCord family for 2 years

Clallam sheriff pursuing $9.6M grant for public safety facility

Defense program geared to supporting military installations