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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dawson Property Approved by NRCS for Farm and Ranch Protection Program

Colville ranch heritage preserved

The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has approved an application to the Farm and Ranch Protection Program for the Colville ranch property of John and Melva Dawson. The application was submitted by Inland Northwest Land Trust of Spokane, in partnership with Conservation Northwest and the Dawsons.

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Sep 13, 2010

Colville -- The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has approved an application to the Farm and Ranch Protection Program for the Colville ranch property of John and Melva Dawson. The application was submitted by Inland Northwest Land Trust of Spokane, in partnership with Conservation Northwest and the Dawsons.

The FRPP is administered by NRCS to apply federal funds to keep quality farmland in agricultural production. The Dawson application was for FRPP funding to purchase a conservation easement that will retire the development rights on 164 acres of irrigated bottomland on the Dawson's 504 acre ranch. NRCS approval of the application means that FRPP will provide 50% of the appraised value to purchase the easement. Conservation Northwest is contributing the remaining 50%, and the Dawsons intend to place the remaining 340 acres under easement at a bargain price.

The ranch is located about four miles north of Colville and provides valuable habitat for wildlife, including prized trophy white tail and mule deer. The Dawsons are pillars of the Stevens County agricultural community, active in the Cattlemen's Association and other civic bodies. This grant is a benchmark in their long-running effort to commit their ranch permanently to agricultural production and conservation in a place where real estate prices providing an alluring pressure for development.

"We believe in ranching and we want to see this part of our region's heritage preserved," said John Dawson. "Our family continues to enjoy a lifestyle of working on the land, appreciating the freedom and beauty of open country. It would have broken our hearts to see the ranch broken up and developed. We are very happy and thankful for this opportunity."

The parties aim to close by the end of this year, with the conservation easement to be held by the Inland Northwest Land Trust.

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