The work of North Olympic Land Trust centers on our mission: to conserve lands that sustain the communities of the North Olympic Peninsula. We work to conserve open spaces, local food, local resources, healthy watersheds and recreational opportunities. Another way to look at our efforts is that we permanently protect the farms, fish and forests that help make our area such a wonderful place to live and visit.
One of the most important aspects of land trust work is that when we conserve a property, we make a commitment with the landowner, and to the community, that we will ensure the conservation values on that property into the future – forever. We take our stewardship responsibilities seriously and are diligent in our efforts to make sure we remain in full compliance with the standards laid out by the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission. We maintain a healthy stewardship endowment which allows us to confidently commit to our stewardship obligations. In addition, we are members of Terrafirma, a Land Trust member-owned conservation insurance program which provides additional protection for our responsibilities.
The Land Trust has protected over 520 acres of local farmland with near-term efforts underway to conserve an additional 132. Since 1950, Clallam County has lost over 70% of its farmland at an average of 1,110 acres per year. As we look toward the future, the Land Trust will continue to prioritize large, prime farm properties in an effort to protect around 7,000 acres of remaining farmland on the Sequim Dungeness Prairie and the agricultural corridor near Joyce.
The Land Trust has protected dozens of properties across Clallam County with an eye toward conserving quality and contiguous fish habitat. To date, this has led to 1.7 miles of marine shoreline and 12 miles of stream and river habitat conservation. Key watersheds for past and future efforts include: Jimmycomelately Creek, Dungeness River, McDonald Creek, Siebert Creek, Ennis Creek, Valley Creek, Elwha River, Salt Creek, Lyre River, East and West Twin Rivers, Pysht River, Hoko River, Elk Creek, Sol Duc River, Bogachiel River and Big River.
The North Olympic Peninsula’s forests provide massive ecological, economic and aesthetic benefits to our community. The Land Trust seeks to conserve lands where these three land values are mutually supportive. To date, the Land Trust has conserved over 1,800 acres of forest land with an additional 150 acres on the near horizon. We will continue to partner with community stakeholders as we hone our forest conservation strategy.