Methow Conservancy Programs
We protect natural landscapes, agricultural lands and vital plant and wildlife habitat through permanent conservation easements with willing private landowners. We are also constructive participants in local land use and natural resource planning efforts. To date we have worked with 95 families to protect more than 7,600 acres including more than 26 miles of shoreline along the Methow, Twisp, and Chewuch rivers.
We ensure that the lands we protect remain healthy by sustaining an exemplary program for monitoring our conservation easements and establishing long-term partnerships with private landowners. We also provide all landowners in the Methow Valley with access to scientifically-based advice for caring for their land and provide technical advice and on-site demonstration projects for all landowners.
We serve as the resource center in the Methow Valley on natural history, conservation and land stewardship, offering numerous classes, field trips, workshops, and handbooks designed for adults and children to help everyone understand the Methow's unique landscape and how we can all live thoughtfully with it.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
This last year, we helped a family who homesteaded a fruit orchard in the Methow Valley in 1894 preserve their agricultural land forever. This conservation easement, our 93rd, marked the first time we worked with a family to undo an already platted development. This land had been in fruit production and then all the trees had been destroyed and a subdivision of 13 homesites had been formally platted and planned. Working with the family, we "undid" the development permanently and the land is now back in active cherry production.
In the past 15 years, the Methow Conservancy has built community trust. Landowner interest in working with us on permanent conservation outcomes is high and community interest in our education programs increases at a quick pace. We need ongoing support of our Annual Operating Fund -- the engine that runs all of our conservation efforts -- to ensure that we have the staff and technology to provide the quality programs and permanent conservation opportunities this community envisions.