Friends of the Fields is proud to announce that Clallam County's application to the Recreation and Conservation Office of the state of Washington for Finn Hall Farm will be funded by the state Legislature. Three other Clallam County applications will be funded as well, including the Agnew soccer fields, Olympic Discovery Trail - Dry Creek Bridge, and the Spruce Railroad Trail Tunnel Restoration Project.
"We were mentally prepared to accept the disappointment of not getting funding this year, due to the economic situation in Washington state," said FOF fundraising chairman Patty McManus-Huber. "We feel very grateful that the Legislature decided to fund up to $70 million for agricultural and recreational projects throughout the state."
The Finn Hall Farm project is slated to receive $876,000 if the match can be raised. The farm, located in Agnew, has 50 acres of farmland with (USDA classified) "prime" soils. It has been farmed profitably by the Jarvis family for eight decades and is used to raise beef cattle.
The property consists of 10 adjacent five-acre plats zoned Agricultural Retention that have a commanding view of the Olympic Mountains, making them highly attractive to developers. FOF believes farmland in Clallam County is being lost to development at an alarming rate due to its moderate climate, rural character and spectacular viewscapes.
FOF's goal is to preserve the 50 acres in perpetuity with an agricultural conservation easement. Once an easement is placed on the property, ownership will remain in the hands of John and Carmen Jarvis, who may continue to farm it or lease it to one of several nearby farmers who have expressed an interest.
In addition to funds raised by FOF, the North Olympic Land Trust has pledged $55,000 toward the conservation easement and is willing to assist the county in monitoring the easement in perpetuity.
To raise the matching funds, FOF is working on another grant from the Federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program and continuing its own fundraising efforts.
Readers may donate on FOF's secure Web site at www.friendsofthefields.org, or mail a check to Friends of the Fields, P.O. Box 1201, Carlsborg, WA 98324.
They also may donate as they check out at Sunny Farms Country Store, by telling the amount to their cashier. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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