Conserving 274 acres of working land north of Ellensburg.
A Family and Their Ranch
The Minors, a legendary rodeo family, have called Kittitas County home since the 1930s. Their 274-acre ranch sits just north of Ellensburg, in a target suburban development zone. Like many ranching families today, Brent and Mary Minor face daunting financial challenges to maintain their land. They have two practical solutions. First, they can sell a portion of their land to a developer. Alternatively, they can create a working land conservation easement that would allow them to keep their land and continue ranching.
Forterra works with interested landowners to determine the best plan for the future of their land. We have been working with the Minors for several years to support the creation of a working land conservation easement. Now, we are seeking financial support from others who feel as strongly about conserving our state’s working ranches. Hairpin Ranch’s thriving ecosystem, healthy soils, and easy access to market make it an important working ranch to conserve.
Forterra secured over $1.7 million to buy the conservation easement for Hairpin Ranch. But that’s not enough. We also need to raise $175,000.
The Future of Hairpin Ranch
The Minors, Forterra, and Kittitas County hope to place a conservation easement on Hairpin Ranch in 2020. Forterra plans to buy the conservation easement from the Minor family at a fair market value and, in doing so, extinguish the development rights on the property. The Minor family will keep their landowner rights and can choose to sell their property in the future to other ranchers and farmers. No matter the owner, the property always will be used as working land. Forever.
What Is A Conservation Easement?
A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that prevents the loss of important land by permanently protecting it from real estate development.
Support Hairpin Ranch Conservation
Forterra secured over $1.7 million in state and federal working lands protection funds to buy the conservation easement for Hairpin Ranch. But that’s not enough. We also need to raise $175,000 by the end of March 2020 to complete the purchase and cover additional costs associated with finalizing the easement.
Forterra works to protect, enhance, and steward our region’s most precious resources—its communities and its ecosystems. We love this place. We want to keep it special. To do this, we conserve land, develop innovative policies, and support sustainable rural and urban development. In our 30-year history, we have helped conserve more than 223,000 acres. Our work reaches from the farmlands and river canyons of Yakima to the estuaries and forests of Washington’s coastline. Forterra is the 2018 winner of the Olmsted Medal, a national honor of the American Society of Landscape Architects for environmental vision and leadership.