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Working Lands: Threatened cropland
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County: Latah

Year Acquired: 2009

Acreage: 135

Public Access: No

Project Partners: 
  • Landowners
  • Palouse Land Trust
Project Summary: 
The Lewis easement project is a great example of a group of people coming together to protect something they care deeply about.  This property is 135 acres of agricultural land on the slopes of Moscow Mountain.  Wheat and lentils have been farmed on this land for nearly a century. 

After the owner died, the land was sold to a developer and a housing development was proposed.  Many people had concerns over this - one of which was that the development would have serious impacts on the water supply for the surrounding area.

After two failed attempts to rezone the property, a group of neighbors rallied together and pooled their money to buy the land.  They then worked with the Land Trust to place a conservation easement on it to ensure it will forever remain in agriculture.  This group of neighbors took it upon themselves to save this farmland, and their commitment will live on for generations.

Project Goals: 
  • Protect the property's agricultural legacy and important working lands in perpetuity.
  • Protect open space and scenic views of Moscow Mountain from US 95 and many vantage points in Moscow.
  • Protect winter habitat for wildlife, including white-tailed deer, small mammals, the occasional moose, elk, and black bear.  The naturally vegetated shrubland draws and drainages also provide significant habitat for upland game birds including ring-necked pheasant, California quail, and Hungarian partridge, numerous passerine species and small mammals.