U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) secured $1 million to purchase conservation easements on hundreds of acres of farmland within Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. This funding was included in the FY2011 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill and matches the amount President Obama included in his budget. It now must be voted on by the full House.
“Ebey’s Landing is one of Washington state’s natural and historical treasures and a vital resource for the community,” said Rep. Larsen. “This funding will help ensure that farmers can keep good agricultural land in production and families can enjoy access to scenic trails and views for years to come.”
Ebey’s Landing was created by Congress in 1978 to protect the “cultural landscape” of Coupeville and central Whidbey Island. This funding will be used to purchase conservation easements on land that is vulnerable to commercial development. Most of Ebey’s Landing is owned by private citizens, but public access is guaranteed by easements owned by the National Parks Service and conservation organizations. The land is widely used for farming, harvesting forests and recreation. Historic buildings on Ebey’s Landing continue to be used as homes and businesses.
“Preserving the unique character of Ebey’s Landing for future generations requires the support of the whole community, from local farmers to small businesses to our elected representatives,” said Mark Preiss, Reserve Manager at Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. “I thank Congressman Larsen for his effective advocacy to secure funding that will protect hundreds of acres of working farmland and preserve public access to Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.”