Make your 2017 impact before it’s too late

From marmot whistles in alpine meadows to the roar of surf on rocky shorelines, the voice of the North Olympic Peninsula is different for each of us and unites us in our love of where we live. Imagine your favorite place on the Peninsula. Are you basking in the lee of a driftwood log at LaPush, fording icy snowmelt in the Gray Wolf River or admiring postcard farms on Sequim Prairie?

It is this diverse tapestry of landscapes, rich with wildlife and natural resources that brings us together to work for its future. Within our community’s borders are lush temperate rainforests, deep valleys, and outstretched prairies and farmland.

Changes to the North Olympic Peninsula’s landscape will define Clallam County into the future. Recognizing a need to protect the area’s special qualities, in 1990 a handful of local residents founded North Olympic Land Trust. Nearly three decades later, thanks to you, the northwestern-most county in the U.S. has the muscles to actively conserve the irreplaceable river corridors, wetlands, shoreline, farmland, and wild and working forests that define Clallam County. The people of the Peninsula have used the Land Trust to permanently conserve more than 3,300 acres, including:

  • more than 520 acres of working farmland,
  • nearly 2 miles of shoreline along the Strait of Juan de Fuca,
  • nearly 12 miles of freshwater stream and riverbanks,
  • more than 650 acres open for public recreation, and
  • 1,800 acres of conserved wild and working forests.

As the year draws to a close, please consider donating toward local land conservation. Your support is needed for emerging conservation opportunities.

Most recently, together, we permanently preserved the 60-acre Historic Ward Farm. Located along the Dungeness River in Sequim, this farm has been in active agriculture since 1858. Such farmland conservation is not only important to the community’s heritage and economy, but for community health and food security as well.

Upcoming conservation opportunities include an additional 132 acres of farmland in eastern Sequim that supports one of the County’s two remaining dairies. Additionally, we’re working to conserve 30 acres along the Elwha River, excellent salmon habitat in one of the last rivers that supports every native Pacific salmon species.

The gifts of people like you have made every one of our local land conservation projects possible. I hope you’ll consider giving again. Together we’ll work to ensure our favorite places, water quality, critical wildlife habitat, clean air, open spaces, and working lands, continue to define the North Olympic Peninsula’s landscape for generations.

P.S. Some Land Trust supporters have consulted with their accountants and learned there are tax savings to be had if they make their 2018 donation in 2017 before the new law takes effect.

If you’d like to do this, donate online before midnight, Dec. 31 or hand deliver or mail your check by Dec. 31. Development Director Dean Miller is standing by to answer questions, but not give tax advice. You can reach him during business hours at (360) 417-1815 ext. 8. After hours, call him at 360-921-4800.