Finnriver Cidery, orchards and a number of other local organizations work on 50 acres of protected farmland. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Finnriver Cidery, orchards and a number of other local organizations work on 50 acres of protected farmland. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson Land Trust now sole holder of Chimacum conservation easement

CHIMACUM — The Jefferson Land Trust is now the sole holder of a conservation easement in Chimacum after the county stepped down as a co-holder Monday.

The easement was put into place in 2009 to protect 50 acres of land which is home to the Chimacum Dairy, also known as Brown Dairy, and the Finnriver Farm orchard and cidery.

The county was brought in by the Jefferson Land Trust as a co-holder in order to acquire a state grant to permanently protect the property from development, according to Sarah Spaeth, the trust’s director of conservation and strategic partnerships.

Land easements

Because the state no longer requires public entities such as the county government to be sponsors of land conservation easements, the Jefferson County commissioners approved handing the easement over to the Jefferson Land Trust, which handles all the other agricultural land conservation easements in Jefferson County.

The $95,047 grant awarded in 2009 covered half the cost of the property. The county as the sponsor covered the other half but was reimbursed for the cost by the Jefferson Land Trust.

The land trust purchased the property, but due to the state requirements, needed the county as a sponsor in order to get the grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office.

The conservation easement keeps the 50-acre property under single ownership and set aside for agriculture use only.

Portions of the property along Chimacum Creek also are protected as habitat for chum, pink and coho salmon, as well as cutthroat trout and steelhead.

According to Spaeth, Finnriver currently leases the property but is working toward purchasing all 50 acres as part of a long-term lease agreement.

Finnriver hosts a cidery, which includes a tasting room and outdoor space, along with an orchard with apple and pear trees and test plots that have been rented by the Organic Seed Alliance, Washington State University Jefferson County Extension and the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. There also are office spaces as part of the Finnriver CoLab.

The land was sold to the land trust by Gloria Brown, who was unable to take care of the farm herself after her husband, B.G. Brown, died. The couple had owned the farm since 1956 when B.G. Brown retired as a marine and came to Chimacum to run his family farm.

Before that, the farm was one of the first settled in Western Washington and was a family dairy since at least the 1850s. At one point it was owned by William Bishop Jr., the first Native American elected as a Washington state senator, according to the Jefferson Land Trust.


Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].

More in News

Peninsula COVID-19 cases, infection rates reported

Sunday’s toll: 12 more in Clallam, none in Jefferson

Peninsula ready for school/childcare staff vaccinations

Both Jefferson and Clallam counties are on track to add COVID-19 vaccinations… Continue reading

Film documents building of village

“Peter’s Place: A Community Spirit Village,” a short film… Continue reading

Boeing Bluebills volunteer Dan Nieuwsma, right, talks with Bayside Housing Services case manager Mike Schleckser about building ramps to the shower units at Peter's Place. Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News
Self-governance hallmark of Peter’s Place

People without homes find refuge

Four PT men suspected in assault, kidnapping

Event happened in November; victim identified attackers last weekend

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Bagpiper Erik Evans of Port Angeles, right, leads children and staff members down Francis Street from the old clubhouse of the Port Angeles Unit of the Boys & Girls Club to the new Turner Clubhouse on its first day of occupancy on Friday.
New clubhouse opens for Port Angeles children

Boys Girls Clubs project doubles size of old facility

Man seeking pot grow permit could buy one

Charges being considered against applicant

The Kiwanis Club of Port Angeles and the Kiwanis Foundation recently donated $2,000 to the North Olympic Library Foundation the United Way of Clallam County for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. 

The book-gifting program will mail a book monthly to every child in the county who is younger than five. 

Pictures in the bottom row, from left to right are Tasha Fitzgerald and Peggy Norris; in the middle row, left to right are Carmen Geyer, Nina Pitts and Patrick Irwin; and in the the top row, from left to right, Sara Dutrow and Christy Smith.
Kiwanis make donation for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library

The Kiwanis Club of Port Angeles and the Kiwanis Foundation recently donated… Continue reading

Most Read