Saving the Soil - Alaska Farmland Trust

By Margaret Adsit | March 23, 2017
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Alaska Farmland Trust Map
Map by Lee House

Did you know that 95-98% of the food consumed in Alaska is imported from the lower 48? And that very little of Alaska’s vast acreage is suitable for food production? Alaska Farmland Trust is one of 6 land trusts across Alaska—and the only one focused solely on the protection of farmlands for future generations.

Alaska Farmland Trust is working to protect our food future to ensure that Alaskans will always benefit from the production of local, Alaska Grown foods. Food is a $2 billion industry in Alaska. It is a renewable resource that deserves more attention and focus as a critical component of our state’s economic future.


Q & A With Alaska Farmland Trust

What is Alaska Farmland Trust working to do? 

Protect agricultural soils across Alaska using conservation easements. 

What are conservation easements? 

Put simply, conservation easements are legal agreements between a landowner and the land trust that permanently maintains access to agricultural soils. 

Does Alaska Farmland Trust own the land? 

No, the landowner maintains ownership of the land. The trust owns the development rights as an easement, just like a utility company would have an easement on the property. The landowner can, however, sell the land for agricultural use in the future. 

How do you know the land is protected? 

Every year, the Alaska Farmland Trust thoroughly monitors each property to make sure that the land is being used as described in the conservation easement.

How do you choose what property you will protect? 

Properties are carefully selected looking at soil quality, access to markets, and outlying pressures of development on that property.  We are a statewide organization, but our primary focus so far has been the core Matanuska Valley as the greatest development pressures on prime agricultural soils occur on these historical farms.

To learn more about Alaska Farmland Trust's work, visit their website or Facebook page. 

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