Protected Farmland

Alaska Farmland Trust works across the state of Alaska to keep our agricultural lands in production by protecting those lands at greatest risk for being lost to development.

The Region

Although a statewide entity, Alaska Farmland Trust has focused its work in core area of the Matanuska Valley.   Situated in the confluence of the Matansuka River and the Knik River, the fertile valley lands were selected as the site for the 1935 Colonist project that brought 200 families from the upper Midwest to what is now Palmer, Alaska. The families opened up and established farms across the Matanuska Valley.

1949 Aerial Map of the Matanuska Valley Core Area. This vast region was an agricultural hub due to its proximity to the military bases and rail line.
1949 Aerial Map of the Matanuska Valley Core Area. This vast region was an agricultural hub due to its proximity to the military bases and rail line.

Development Erases Farmland

In the 75 years since the first colony farms were built, Mat-Su’s population has blossomed to over 82,000 people. From 2000-2007 alone, the population grew by 21,000. This population growth puts increasing pressures on farmlands.  Agricultural land is cleared, flat, often with existing infrastructure- perfect for development.

This aerial Map shows the extend of development over 50 year period. In the last 12 years- over 300 acres of agricultural lands in the Springer System, located just south of downtown Palmer have been lost to non- agricultural development.
This aerial Map shows the extent of development over 50 year period. In the last 12 years- over 300 acres of agricultural lands in the Springer System, located just south of downtown Palmer have been lost to non- agricultural development.

 

Our Protected Agricultural Lands

Below, you’ll notice our agricultural lands are concentrated in the areas with the greatest amount of development over the past 75 years.  Each of the pins marks the general location of our protected parcels.

Land Stories

Agricultural land protection is as much about the people who live on the land as it is about the land itself. Behind every piece of protected agricultural land is a family or organization committed to seeing their property kept in agriculture.

Musk Ox Farm
Musk Ox Farm
Heaven's Hayfield: LeRoi and Margaret Heaven
Heaven’s Hayfield
McCormick Conservation Easement
McCormick Farm
Alaska State Fair Conservation Easement
Alaska State Fair