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Interested in the Future of Coffelt Farm Preserve?

After more than two years of research and community outreach, the San Juan County Conservation Land Bank has entered the final phase in planning future agricultural operations at Coffelt Farm Preserve. The Land Bank invites the public to submit written comments on a new Coffelt Farm study and to attend a Zoom meeting on December 17, 2021.

The enormous task before the Land Bank Commissioners is how best to not only keep the 185-acre Orcas Island property in active agriculture, but to also provide educational opportunities for farmers and other community members, and to devise a management model that’s sustainable, equitable and fiscally responsible. In addition, they must heed the constraints of the San Juan Preservation Trust’s Conservation Easement as well as protect the ecological values outlined in the Land Bank’s Coffelt Farm Preserve Stewardship and Management Plan.

Key to the December discussion will be the new Coffelt Farm Lease Rate and Reserve Study. Recommended by the Land Bank’s Conservation Agricultural Resource Team (CART), the study was prepared by a consultant with decades of experience in the field. It draws on extensive research, interviews with local farm owners and lessees, and careful evaluation of the property and its infrastructure. In addition to providing guidance for a lease rate informed by comparable local and regional rates, the study includes a proposed 10-year maintenance schedule and associated costs. This information will be crucial in developing a long-term sound financial plan for the Preserve.

To review the Farm Study and Proposed Ag Policy, and learn more about next steps, please click on the link below.

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