Protecting Benton’s Big Back Yard

Quality

In Benton County, we enjoy a wonderful quality of life. A big part of that is our natural heritage of ridges, wildlife, clean rivers and the abundant outdoor recreation opportunities that parks, trails and open space provide. We are proud of the way our community works to protect and enhance these treasures through volunteer efforts.

But it’s not enough.  As public demand for outdoor recreation increases, we need to do more to ensure access for all and maintain the high quality that makes Benton’s Big Back yard so special.

Opportunity

The Benton County Conservation Futures Fund offers an excellent opportunity to protect our land, water, wildlife, farmland and public access to outdoor recreation throughout Benton County.  For about a dollar a month, we can protect the best of Benton County for generations to come, and be eligible to receive matching dollars from state and federal programs.

Accountability  

The fund can be used only on local Benton County projects. Citizen oversight and annual audits will ensure that land and easement purchases from willing sellers maximize the return on investment for the county.

The 2014 proposition to create the Benton County Conservation Futures Fund narrowly missed passage, by fewer than 1500 votes. Since that time the campaign committee has continued to meet and work behind the scenes in an effort to return the measure to the ballot and to educate the community.

What can you do to help?

  • Invite us to speak to your community group or club
  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
  • If you would like to help when the campaign gets underway, please contact us at bentonfutures@gmail.com

 

  Once it is gone, it is gone forever!

No other place on Earth is like the Mid-Columbia/Benton County region. Massive basalt flows, cataclysmic floods, and other geologic processes created the ridges and rivers landscape that defines our sense of place.

Visual and physical access to these places – views of them and from them – help us to understand and physically and emotionally connect with a landscape we recognize as “home”. Open spaces, whether viewed or explored, are our portals to making these connections.

Wallula Gap

Wallula Gap

The Conservation Futures authority was established over 40 years ago by the Washington State Legislature and has been administratively adopted by 13 counties in Washington. The purpose of the legislative action in 1971 was to benefit wildlife, conserve natural resources, protect existing agricultural lands,  increase passive recreation and educational opportunities, and improve the quality of life for area residents. That has been the practice in our sister counties that have already taken advantage of this law, and is what we seek for Benton County.

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