December 30, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jefferson County Environmental Health
Jefferson County Invites Applications for Open Space Projects
A portion of the Moon Valley Reach of the
Big Quilcene River floodplain, the subject
of a conservation futures application in 2016.
Credit: Tami Pokorny
Port Townsend, WA – Jefferson County welcomes applications to protect important open space lands through the county’s Conservation Futures Program.
Open space lands provide important functions including:
- Protecting wildlife habitat and corridors,
- Conserving cultural resources,
- Maintaining natural flood water control,
- Protecting water quality, water supply and soils,
- Enhancing or protecting scenic views,
- Providing opportunities for education and passive recreation, and
- Perpetuating the benefits of balanced and productive natural systems.
Citizens, landowners, and citizen groups as well as local government agencies, special purpose districts, and non-profit corporations within Jefferson County may apply for funds in partnership, as applicable, with a local sponsoring organization based in Jefferson County.
In the 2017 funding cycle, approximately $228,000 is available to new projects. Of this amount, up to $36,108 is available to reimburse operations and maintenance expenses for any property acquired using conservation futures funds. A minimum matching amount of 50% of the total project cost is required of the project sponsor. Sources of match must be non-county funds such as private contributions, state and/or federal grants, and/or the value of other open space lands linked to the project.
The deadline to submit applications is Thursday, March 30, 2017. For an application and more information, contact Tami Pokorny at (360) 379-4498 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual project application process is overseen by the Conservation Futures Citizen Oversight Committee. Each spring, this committee evaluates project applications for their public benefit and makes recommendations to the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners who, after a public hearing, decide which projects merit funding. Meetings of the Committee are open to the public.
Last year, the county commissioners approved the use of conservation futures funds towards the completion of four projects – the acquisition of 2.5 acres within the “Cappy’s Trails” area of Port Townsend by the City; the conservation of up to 107 acres of floodplain and adjacent slopes along the Big Quilcene River; 1.5-acre addition to Irondale Beach County Park; and the protection of 33 acres of forest and farmland in the Tarboo Valley.
The Conservation Futures Fund and Program are governed by Section 3.08 of the Jefferson County Code. The Program was created in 2002 to help ensure that the county retains adequate wildlife habitat, working farms and forests, scenic areas, and culturally and historically significant open space lands here – all for the health, benefit and welfare of citizens. The Fund is generated by the County’s smallest property tax levy.
Presentations about the program and past projects are available throughout the year by request to the Environmental Health Department. Visit the Conservation Futures Program and Committee web pages.
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