In October, the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board awarded North Olympic Land Trust $417,460 to continue protecting riparian and floodplain habitat for salmon on the Pysht River.
These grants are channeled through the North Olympic Peninsula Lead Entity, which reviews projects related to salmon recovery and assists sponsors with their applications.
As a result of support from the funding board and the North Olympic Peninsula Lead Entity, the land trust already has protected 22 acres and plans to protect 57 acres through a conservation easement and to buy nearly 37 acres outright.
Conservation of the acreage along the Pysht constitutes Phase II of a multi-phase, multi-year vision to conserve up to 10 river miles reaching from the Pysht River’s estuary. The estuary itself is protected by
Cascade Land Conservancy.
The land trust recently closed on Phase I of the project, through which the nonprofit bought 22 acres of Pysht River floodplain and channel migration zone.
The land trust has conserved nearly 2,300 acres of ecologically important land on the Olympic Peninsula, striving to protect farmland, forestland and salmon habitat primarily through conservation easements on privately-owned land, and through direct ownership and management of land donated or bought outright.
A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently protects the identified natural features and conservation values of that property.
While state and federal grants offer significant support toward NOLT achieving its land conservation goals, further funding is needed to assist the organization with protecting additional farmland and forestland and to support the land trust’s daily operations and administration budget.
North Olympic Land Trust is preparing for its end of the year fundraising appeal and is accepting donations, memberships and volunteers.
For more information about how to help protect open space, fisheries habitat and the county’s environment, call 417-1815 or see www.nolt.org.