2020 Island County Conservation Futures Fund Kristoferson ... c. Site significance for agricultural

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    2020 Island County Conservation Futures Fund Kristoferson Farm and Forest Conservation Easement

    Sponsor: Whidbey Camano Land Trust

    Contact: Ryan Elting Address: 765 Wonn Rd C-201 Greenbank, WA 98253 Phone: 360-222-3310 Fax: 360-222-3510 E-mail: ryan@wclt.org

    Project Budget Summary:

    Total Conservation Easement Value $2,150,000

    Total Costs of Services (Environmental Assessment, staff time, appraisal, survey, interpretive signs, etc.)

    $100,000

    Total Project Cost $2,250,000

    CFF Amount Requested $300,000

    Parcel Numbers:

    R33230-180-0352, R33230-180-0351, R33230-180-2311, R33230-180-2312, R33230-075-1832, R33230-075-1831, R33230-075-0681, R33230-075-0682, R33231-519-0080 R33231-461-0680, R33231-461-1580, R33231-373-0800, R23236-396-4820

    Landowner Names:

    Kristoferson Farm, LLC, a Washington Limited Liability Company

    Landowner Contact Information: (Please use Land Trust project manager as contact point.)

    Primary Contact: Ryan Elting, Conservation Director Mailing Address: 765 Wonn Road C-201, Greenbank, WA 98253 Phone: (360) 222-3310 E-mail ryan@wclt.org

    mailto:ryan@wclt.org

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    Project Description:

    Whidbey Camano Land Trust will permanently preserve approximately 231 acres of farm and forestland through acquisition of a conservation easement on property located on Camano Island in Island County, WA. The conservation easement will prohibit future development of the property, while protecting the agriculture and timber resources in perpetuity. The Kristoferson Farm and Forest Conservation Easement project encompasses high quality agricultural soils and contains significant water resources, including ponds, wetlands, and a fish- bearing stream flowing through the property and emptying directly into Triangle Cove and Port Susan Bay. The 231-acre Kristoferson Farm is a Camano Island icon, providing the scenic backdrop along the main access road to and from the Island. The property was purchased by Alfred Kristoferson in 1912 to support his thriving Seattle dairy, and is now in the fourth generation of family ownership. Today, the family has considerably diversified the farm. In addition to organic hay production, the farm produces lavender, apples, pumpkins, and jams, as well as farm crafts. Farming without chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides is a family tradition, and Kristoferson Farm is Certified Organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. This is a high standard to meet, made even more so because of the large acreage. In an effort to maintain sustainable forestry and agriculture, the current generation of Kristofersons have expanded the farm operations, adding ecotourism, corporate leadership training, team-building, and farm events, to the traditional working forest and agriculture practices. The family's Canopy Tours Northwest gives visitors access to the forest in a minimally impactful way that is compatible with sustainable timber harvest. The Kristofferson’s family dedication to preserving the farm and wildlife habitat is central to their mission. Major environmental initiatives include creating salmon passage and restoring riparian areas along Kristoferson Creek. Their implementation of sustainable farming serves as a model practice. In fact, in 2014, Kristoferson Farm was named “Washington State Wildlife Farmer of the Year” by the Washington Association of Conservation Districts. The fourth generation of Kristofersons continues their passion for sustainability and is now partnering with the Land Trust to permanently conserve this significant agricultural, forest, and community resource for the benefit of future generations.

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    Two years is requested to complete this complex acquisition project, although the plan is to acquire the conservation easement as soon as feasible.

    ATTACHMENT B ESTIMATED PROJECT BUDGET

    ISLAND COUNTY CONSERVATION FUTURES FUND PROPOSED PROJECT APPLICATION

    PROJECT NAME Kristoferson Farm and Forest Conservation

    YEAR 2020

    Category CFF Other Funding Sources Total Funding Planning Salaries and Benefits $ - $ - $ - Consultants/Sub-Contracting $ - $ - $ - Goods and Services* $ - $ - $ - Travel & Per Diem $ - $ - $ - Other $ - $ - $ - Total Planning $ - $ - $ - Maintenance and Operations Salaries and Benefits $ - $ - $ - Consultants/Sub-Contracting $ - $ - $ - Goods and Services* $ - $ - $ - Travel & Per Diem $ - $ - $ - Other $ - $ - $ - Total Maintenance /

    $ - $ - $ -

    Management & Administration Salaries and Benefits $ - $ - $ - Consultants/Sub-Contracting $ - $ - $ - Goods and Services* $ - $ - $ - Travel & Per Diem $ - $ - $ - Other $ - $ - $ - Total Management & Admin $ - $ - $ - Equipment Technology Capital Items* $ - $ - $ - Technology Supplies* $ - $ - $ - Equipment* $ - $ - $ - Other $ - $ - $ - Total Equipment $ - $ - $ - Property Acquisition Cons. Esmt. Purchase $300,000 $1,850,000 $2,150,000

    Other Acquisition Costs $ 0 $ 100,000 $ 100,000

    Total Acquisition Costs $300,000 $1,950,000 $2,250,000 Total Budget $300,000 $1,950,000 $2,250,000

    * For all line items listed with "*", please provided an attached detailed list of items and costs

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    Project Narrative:

    A. CONSERVATION VALUES & RESOURCES:

    1. Rarity of resources or habitats protected:

    a. Significance of resources protected:

    The Kristoferson Farm and Forest Conservation Easement project will permanently protect 231 acres, including 84 acres of farmland and 147 acres of forestland, streams, wetlands, and lake (Exhibits A - C). These resources are specifically identified in local and regional plans as high protection priorities and, together, they benefit a wide-range of economic of activities and provide critical habitat for species of fish and wildlife. The property has been owned and operated by Kristoferson Family since 1912. The family maintains high standards for both agricultural and environmental sustainability, with nearly the entirety of the diversified farm operation certified organic. The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Web Soil Survey shows that nearly the entire 84 acres actively used for farmland contains soils classified as containing qualities of “prime farmland” and “farmland of statewide importance” (Exhibit D). The project also contains significant water resources, including a fish-bearing stream flowing through the property, which eventually empties into Triangle Cove, a 200-acre intact saltwater estuary, and then Port Susan Bay and Puget Sound (Exhibits E-F). Kristoferson Farm is important to a multitude of wildlife species, both on and off- site. Kristoferson Lake, the creek and riparian area, and the wetlands south of the property are important habitat areas for migratory birds, amphibians, and mammals including porcupine, beaver, and river otters. Furthermore, the entire farm, with its diverse edge habitat, fields, and adjacent trees provide incredible habitat for predators including raptors such as bald eagles, red tailed hawks, peregrine falcons, and owls.

    b. Rarity of resources or habitats protected:

    The Kristoferson Farm and Forest Conservation Easement project protects important riparian and forested wetland habitat along a significant Island County stream corridor. Kristoferson Creek is located within the top priority area for salmon protection in the Island County Salmon Recovery Plan and Plan Update completed in 2019. At 3,027 acres, the Kristoferson Creek watershed is the second largest watershed on Camano Island and the only watershed on Camano with documented salmon use. In addition, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Priority Habitat mapping system identifies four priority species and habitats encompassed within the project. These include Coho salmon habitat, wood duck breeding habitat, and two types of priority wetlands.

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    The forest portion of the project site is rich with fish and wildlife habitat, including critical habitats identified by WDFW’s priority species and habitat mapping system. Kristoferson Lake, Kristoferson Creek, and the southern wetland are priority areas for Coho Salmon, Wood ducks, and several different types of sensitive aquatic habitats. The riparian areas, including wide, voluntarily protected buffers on the property, which are sized at more than twice the mandatory width required by Washington Department of Natural Resources. The project also includes protection of Kristoferson Lake, which is the largest body of fresh water on Camano Island and the water source for Kristoferson Creek, the Island’s only salmon-bearing stream.

    The property’s riparian habitat provides significant ecosystem services including stormwater retention, flood prevention, filtration, and aquifer recharge. This is especially critical considering that Camano Island relies entirely on its sole source aquifer for drinking water. Kristoferson Farm and Forest lies at the very heart of the largest watershed on Camano Island. The Kristofersons have participated in the numerous riparian restoration projects on the property of the riparian zones restored the riparian zone through the propert