News Flash

Public Health News

Posted on: January 9, 2019

Open Space Project Applications Welcomed

20190110_ConservFund

January 9, 2019

For Immediate Release 

Contact:  Tami Pokorny

Natural Resources Program Coordinator

Jefferson County Environmental Public Health

(360) 379-4498, tpokorny@co.jefferson.wa.us



Port Townsend – 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 2019 funding cycle, approximately $205,000 is available to new projects. Of this amount, up to $30,600 is available to reimburse operations and maintenance expenses for any property acquired with the Conservation Futures Fund. 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 Friday, March 22, 2019. For an application and more information, contact Tami Pokorny at (360) 379-4498 or tpokorny@co.jefferson.wa.us.

Last year, the county commissioners approved the use of the Conservation Futures Fund towards the completion of four projects. These include the acquisition of conservation easements to maintain open space and agricultural values on the 60-acre Ruby Ranch in Beaver Valley and the 35-acre Mize property on Marrowstone Island. A third project acquired 65 acres of mature forest east of Center Valley to be managed for sustainable timber production and recreation in association with a community forest project located atop Chimacum Ridge. A fourth project protects nearly nine acres of intact riparian habitat along Snow Creek as part of an evolving fish and wildlife corridor.

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.

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.


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Jefferson County Public Health
Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community

Conservation Futures Program and Committee Website

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