The Okanogan County commissioners will hold a public hearing on Monday (July 11) regarding two conservation easement projects for which the Methow Conservancy is seeking funding through the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
The hearing begins at 4 p.m. in the commissioners’ meeting room.
According to a Conservancy press release, agriculturalists will speak on behalf of conservation easements. Both of the proposed conservation easements will permanently protect agricultural properties and both are owned by private landowners interested in a conservation easement that will ensure that agricultural legacy, the Conservancy said.
The two projects are:
• A 1,028-acre upland property located between Winthrop and Twisp that has supported local ranching for over 100 years, while also serving as important winter-range habitat for mule deer. The landowner intends to market the property for sale and without a conservation easement the land would likely be subdivided into a range of 20- to 80-acre view parcels, eliminating any opportunity for continued agricultural use and disrupting an important wildlife corridor, the Conservancy said.
• A 35-acre orchard property in the lower Methow Valley, near the mouth of Black Canyon. It also has supported agricultural production for many decades, up until the Carlton Complex Fire of 2014.쟏nce protected, the property will be renovated with new varieties.
Because both properties currently qualify for agricultural tax status, conservation easements would have no negative impact upon county revenues, the Conservancy said.
For more information, call 996-2870.