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The district purchased the blueberry, raspberry and blackberry farm on Sept. 20. The land is along approximately 100-feet of an unnamed tributary to Big Creek.

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District's Working Farmland Protection program bought a 20-acre Corbett fruit farm on Southeast Gordon Creek Road, and the purchase will ensure the land is used for agriculture. 

The Working Farmland Protection program prevents development on rural properties, said Alex Woolery, marketing and media manager for East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD). 

"We basically help farmers (who want to sell their land) have an option to keep their land as farmland or a natural area," Woolery said. "Our intent is not to hold onto the property, but to put a conservation easement on the land."

A working farmland easement is a legally binding agreement that sets limitations on what a future owner can use a property for, and in this case the requirement would be to keep the property as a farm. A working farmland easement can als be used tas a way to raise capital for farmers who want to keep their land.

"EMSWCD will likely hold the property for one to two years at a minimum, but that could change based on opportunities and further analysis," Woolery said. "In the meantime, we expect to be leasing the property back for agricultural use."

The district purchased the blueberry, raspberry and blackberry farm on Sept. 20. The land is along approximately 100-feet of an unnamed tributary to Big Creek, which in turn flows into the Sandy River. EMSWCD has worked to enhance the water quality of Big Creek through its StreamCare program, which is a program that works with private landowners to restore native habitats along waterways.

EMSWCD crews will plant native vegetation along the unnamed stream this winter.

For more information about EMSWCD's Working Farmland Protection Program visit www.emswcd.org/land-conservation/protecting-farmland.

About the District

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District is a government entity that's mission is to care for land and water.

The district is led by an elected board of five directors who work on a voluntary, non-regulatory basis with landowners, land managers, and residents east of the Willamette River in Multnomah County.

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