| Published: April 29, 2011 – 9:05 pm
April 15, 2011
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Pat Powell, Executive Director, (360) 222-3310, email@example.com
Greenbank, Washington — Another 32 acres of historic and prime agricultural land in Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve will remain available for farming, thanks to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust and landowners, Dave and Dolores Engle.
The decision to work with the Land Trust to protect the property was an easy one for Dave and Dolores. Dave grew up on Ebey’s Prairie, and they wanted their four daughters and nine grandchildren to enjoy the open space and farmland views as they have. “We love knowing the beauty of the prairie will go on forever, and this 32 acres is part of the prairie,” Dave said. “We feel like stewards of the land. It’s a gift to leave it for future generations. If you carve up open spaces, you cannot bring them back again.”
The easement protects productive agricultural soils and connects already protected farmland, contributing to the beautiful agricultural setting and wide open scenic views on the prairie. The land’s protection is also incredibly beneficial to wildlife, particularly raptors, that hunt the fields. The conservation easement removed all development rights from the property. It will never be subdivided for residential development, retail, or industrial uses. The Engles can continue to manage that land as farmland as it has been for over 100 years.
Funded by three sources—the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Farmland Preservation Fund, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Island County Conservation Futures. Protecting this property is part of a larger effort by the Land Trust to connect protected lands within Ebey’s Reserve. Within Ebey’s Reserve, the Land Trust is working on several agricultural conservation easements as well as a project that will protect wetland and bird habitat at Crockett Lake and an old growth forest and shoreline protection project.
Of the transaction, Mark Preiss, Ebey’s Reserve manager says, “We are thankful for the deep commitment of Dave and Dolores Engle and their dedication to sustaining the tradition of farming here in Ebey’s Reserve. Connecting this land with other protected lands is critical to maintaining a strong fabric of farming here. We are fortunate to have the Whidbey Camano Land Trust staff and board in our corner.”