The Methow Conservancy is seeking grant funding from the Washington State Farmland Preservation Program to purchase a permanent conservation easement on 390 acres of highly visible irrigated farmland owned by the Arletta Development Corp., a real estate holding company of the Haub family, long-time owners of Sun Mountain Lodge.
The Conservancy noted in a press release that “The iconic farmland includes irrigated land known to many as the Sunny M Ranch and is highly visible from many locations in the upper Methow Valley including Wolf Creek Road, the Winthrop Trail, and from Sun Mountain Lodge.”
“We’re honored to have this opportunity to work with the Haub family to conserve this productive farmland, and to build upon the Haub family’s significant commitment to the quality of life and economy of the Methow Valley over the many decades they have stewarded this land,” said Jason Paulsen, the Methow Conservancy’s executive director.
“We are very pleased with the community’s support for the preservation of farmland in the Methow Valley and appreciate the Methow Conservancy’s presence in the valley as a trusted resource for landowners interested in outcomes like this for this important piece of our real estate holdings in the Methow Valley,” said Christian Haub, president of Arletta Development Corp. and son of Helga and the late Erivan Haub, who acquired the farmland over the last 33 years.
The initial deadline for applications to the State of Washington Farmland Preservation Program was June 1. The Conservancy will be working over the next month to satisfy the highly competitive program’s requirements, according to the press release.
Project rankings will come in the fall of 2020, and funding determined by the state Legislature in its 2021 legislative session as part of the state capital budgeting process.
“We have a lot of important work and advocacy ahead of us to both develop a highly competitive application for funding and educate our state legislators as to the importance of funding the farmland program as part of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program in the next capital budget,” Paulsen said.