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Peninsula group to preserve 24-Carrot Farm
by MARK ST.J. COUHIG
Officials with the North Olympic Land Trust and the owners of 10 acres “of prime farmable land” in Dungeness have agreed to a new plan that will ensure the land forever remains farmland and wildlife habitat.
Now the trust just needs to raise $25,000 to complete the job. They want to have the money in hand by the end of February.
The newly named “24-Carrot Farm” is a particularly prized piece because it lies at the heart of more than 580 acres of currently protected farmland and wildlife habitat near the Dungeness River delta.
Under the new agreement, which is known as a conservation easement, the trust will purchase the development rights while at the same time Nash’s Organic Produce will purchase the land.
The agreement will allow the current owner to sell the land at market value while ensuring the farmland is affordable.
With a little help from their friends, the North Olympic Land Trust will ensure the 10-acre “24-Carrot Farm” (indicated by green asterisk) joins an existing 580 acres of protected farmland wildlife habitat in Dungeness. The trust is seeking donations to complete the deal.
24-Carrot Farm is immediately adjacent to the 70-acre Delta Farm, which was conserved by PCC Farmland Trust in 2000. Through this project, the two properties will be reunited.
“Rich farming soils near the mouth of the Dungeness River are among the most productive in our region.
This is an effort to encourage local healthy foods, promote local jobs and preserve the cultural heritage of our region, while maintaining the landscapes that make the North Olympic Peninsula one of the best places on earth to live,” said Land Trust Executive Director Tom Sanford. “Together, we can ensure that we keep this pure American farmland available for farming, not just today but forever.”
During the initial stages of this project, the trust and the current owner jointly hired a real estate appraiser to determine the value of the development rights on 24-Carrot Farm. As a result, the current owner has agreed to sell the conservation easement on this property to North Olympic Land Trust for $175,300.
Once the transaction is completed, the easement will legally require all subsequent owners to use the property solely for farming and wildlife habitat.
Donations toward this effort can be made at local grocers, including the The Red Rooster Grocery in Sequim and Nash’s Farm Store and Dungeness Valley Creamery in Dungeness.
Donations also are accepted at the Agnew Country Store.
In Port Angeles, drop by the Good to Go Natural Grocery or Country Aire Natural Foods.
Donations also can be made directly through the Land Trust. See www.NorthOlympicLandTrust.org for more information.
The North Olympic Land Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land that sustains the communities of the Olympic Peninsula. Over the past 23 years, the organization has conserved over 2,700 acres of land on the Olympic Peninsula. The trust is accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.
Reach Mark Couhig at email@example.com.