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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, November 9, 2015
Contact:
Andrew Deffobis, Associate Planner at (360) 754-3355 ext. 5467

THURSTON COUNTY AWARDS $1.4M TO PRESERVE LANDS
Five projects benefit from special conservation program

OLYMPIA - Thurston County Commissioners have authorized the funding of five land preservation projects through the county's Conservation Futures program.

The Conservation Futures Program fund is collected from a county property tax levy authorized by the Washington State Legislature. The funds are used for preservation and protection of working farmlands, open spaces, timberlands, habitat areas and parks. For 2015, Thurston County collected approximately 4.7 cents per $1,000 assessed value of each parcel owned.

The approved projects for 2015 were selected following a formal application process that included the review and ranking of eight applicants.

The City of Tumwater was awarded $14,500 for the Tumwater Brewery Trail Easement. The city plans to use the money to connect Tumwater's park trails to Olympia's Woodland Trail, and also to provide public access to viewing areas.

The Nisqually Land Trust was awarded $120,000 for the Nisqually Whitewater Reach, a recovery project for Chinook salmon. The money will be used to minimize impacts from residential activities and livestock grazing that have occurred to the salmon's critical habitat along the Nisqually River.

Capitol Land Trust was awarded $122,500 to help fund the purchase of the Shermer property, a 21-acre section of river floodplain and wetland that connects to the Deschutes River during high flows. The purchase of this land will allow critical habitat restoration for area salmon.

Capitol Land Trust was also awarded $600,000 for the Darlin Creek project. CLT plans to acquire 313 acres along Darlin and Dempsey creeks for the conservation and restoration of wildlife habitat and wetlands along the Black River.

South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust was awarded $559,835 for the Oyster Bay Farm. The funds will be used to purchase an agricultural conservation easement on the farm to preserve the land for agricultural use.

To learn more about Thurston County's Conservation Futures Program or to apply, go to Thurston County's website www.co.thurston.wa.us/home and search "conservation futures."



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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3