Whidbey Camano Land TrustConservation Futures Fund Whidbey Camano Land TrustConservation Futures Fund

Conservation Futures Fund

3Sisters_Cows

Summary: 2015 Review of the Island County Conservation Futures Program

We are impressed with the attention, thought and effort each of the three County Commissioners put into their review of the Island County Conservation Futures Fund (CFF), an incredibly valuable program that helps protect the quality of life we all enjoy. This was the first thorough program review in its 23-year history.

Over the past eight months, Pat Powell, our executive director, and Tom Cahill, volunteer and former Land Trust board member, were present at most of the work sessions where the Island County Commissioners reviewed the Conservation Futures program. Pat and Tom made numerous visits to each of the three Commissioners to discuss the proposed program revisions and present testimony on the changes at the public hearings.

It was clear to us that all three Commissioners believe strongly in the Conservation Futures program and are committed to ensuring that the limited program funds are used to acquire and protect the very best conservation lands and maintenance and operation projects in the County. The Commissioners had healthy discussions and were open to others’ opinions. They reached agreement after giving nearly every factor a thorough review and consideration.

Pat has participated in grant funding evaluations for over 25 years. She has found that, as long as the programs’ evaluation criteria are reasonable (which the revised criteria recently approved by the County Commissioners are) and applied consistently, the best grant projects nearly always receive funding. Is there room for improvement? Certainly and, from our observation, the Commissioners will pay attention to where revisions are warranted in the future.

To read what we believe were the main changes to the Conservation Futures Program, please click here.

You can also read additional information by visiting the Island county web page.

Pictured above are cows on the 3 Sisters Family Farm, protected with help from the Conservation Futures Fund.