In June, KPTZ celebrates Jefferson Land Trust. Through community-powered, community-focused land conservation, the Land Trust utilizes a toolkit of conservation easements, land acquisition, government and foundation grants, and community volunteers and philanthropists. Some exciting projects on the horizon this year for the Land Trust are:
Chimacum Ridge, their largest project to date at 853 acres, the Land Trust is working to purchase by 2023 to combine with their adjacent Valley View Forest to become Chimacum Ridge Community Forest. This will be a forest for all, connecting communities and modeling reciprocal relationships with the land. It will provide community access to the forest’s ecological, social, and economic benefits forever. Last year, the state legislature awarded the Land Trust half of the estimated $6 million needed to buy the land.
The beloved Quimper Wildlife Corridor and Cappy’s Trails in Port Townsend which is vulnerable to increasing development pressure. Working with willing landowners, the Land Trust is appraising and acquiring key parcels in the corridor to ensure this precious resource remains available forever for the health of plants, wildlife, and people.
Saving Local Farms, as agricultural lands remain a major focus of the Land Trust. A robust farming economy strengthens our local food system, creates jobs, and helps preserve the rural character of our County. Conserving the soil, waterways, working forests, and open space of farms supports wildlife, too. The Land Trust is currently working with many farmers to finalize protection on their properties this year.
Climate Resilience, to help ensure that our community and wildlife thrives in the face of climate change, the Land Trust is taking steps to build climate resilience. Partnering with the North Olympic Land Trust, they undertook a Land Resilience Study that will aid the two organizations in making landscape-scale conservation and stewardship decisions across the Peninsula.
Jefferson Land Trust is also hosting in-person events again this year, such as its popular volunteer work parties at its nature preserves and their on-the-land gala dinner, LandFest on July 7. The Land Trust is expanding its educational outreach through collaboration with Jefferson County’s four school districts and offering resources for all ages online. And as always, rain or shine, its stewardship staff and hardy volunteers will be monitoring and caring for hundreds of acres of protected wild lands at its nature preserves. For more on Jefferson Land Trust and to get involved visit: www.saveland.org.