Columbia Land Trust project nets state grant

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A Vancouver-based conservation organization last week was awarded a state grant of nearly $700,000 to protect farmland in the Trout Lake Valley.

The Columbia Land Trust will use the money from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board to buy development rights on more than 215 acres of the Schmid dairy farm. The goal is to ensure that the historic farmland near Mount Adams remains farmland. The Schmid family that owns it voluntarily agreed to the purchase, according to the land trust.The state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board awarded the $685,857 grant following an intense evaluation process, according to the organization. The Columbia Land Trust project took the top score for its category in a statewide competition.

The state Recreation and Conservation Office has awarded Columbia Land Trust 25 grants since 2000, totaling more than $8.2 million, according to the agency. Since 1990, the land trust has conserved more than 18,000 acres in Washington and Oregon.