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American Farmland Trust Receives Award for Resource Conservation Leadership in Puget Sound

Dennis Canty: (206) 691-0700 or (206) 799-7916 (cell), dcanty@farmland.org
Seattle, Wash., November 20, 2012 —American Farmland Trust (AFT) was selected by the King Conservation District Board of Supervisors to receive its 2012 Best Partnering Organization Award.  The award recognizes individuals, organizations, and public agencies that provide outstanding leadership and service in resource conservation.

AFT was specifically recognized for its Farmland Forever campaign – an effort to protect an additional 100,000 acres of farmland in the Puget Sound region – and for its cooperative work with the King Conservation District and other partners on an innovative conservation program in the Snoqualmie Valley.  Part of the Farmland Forever campaign is organizing a new political coalition – the Farmland 500 – to push for more funding and better policy to protect farmland in Washington.

For the Snoqualmie Valley project, AFT identified ten farmers in a key salmon-bearing reach who were interested in restoring streamside habitat, rallied organizations and agencies to pool funding, and helped each farmer secure the money needed to complete their projects. In the process, AFT turned a $35,000 investment into a $366,000 restoration program that will restore more than three miles of critical salmon streams.  AFT is now focused on expanding this program – called Pioneers in Conservation – to a Puget Sound-wide scale.

“This award means a great deal to us,” said Dennis Canty, American Farmland Trust’s Pacific Northwest director. “We are a small organization with a really big mission: saving farmland and farming in the Pacific Northwest.  Without partners like the King Conservation District, we wouldn’t get anywhere.”

More information about the Pioneers in Conservation program is available at http://www.farmland.org/programs/states/WA/PioneersinConservation.asp.

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American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.

AFT's national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.

American Farmland Trust