After four years of effort, the Okanogan Land Trust finalized a conservation easement on the Olma Ranch, 1,600 acres of working ranchland in the Okanogan Highlands. An article by the Okanogan Valley’s Gazette-Tribune shares the story of the Olma family, highland cattle ranchers who decided to permanently protect their family ranch through an agricultural conservation easement.
“This particular project is a key piece in a larger effort to protect contiguous ranchland in the Highlands to safeguard future livestock ranching opportunities that are greatly inhibited when existing grazing areas become fragmented by residential subdivisions,” said land trust Board President Cynthia Nelson in the article.
Derek Olma highlighted how important the family’s partnership with Okanogan Land Trust was for the success of the project. “We were surprised by how much of a challenge it was to work through all the different parts of the project but we stuck with the land trust and they stuck with us. We are just really pleased that everything came together and our wish to protect our property has been rewarded,” he said.
Despite development pressure, these conservation easements ensure that this high quality grassland will be available for farming now and into the future.
Read the full article in the Gazette-Tribune.