The nonprofit Northwest Rangeland Trust has closed on a conservation easement on 142 acres of agricultural land in Thurston County. 

The property is part of the McKenzie Family, LLC, Ranch near Yelm. According to a release from the NWRT, the easement ensures that the land will remain agricultural property in perpetuity, despite “repeatedly [facing] the threat of [residential] development.”

The easement effectively retires the development rights to a large part of arguably the most desirable development sites of the 205-acre parcel.

The news may close a door for developers looking to build on the land, but it’s music to the ears of Alan McKenzie, managing partner of the McKenzie family’s cattle ranch.

“With this easement in place, I feel as though I have come full circle. My great grandparents homesteaded here in the 1870s, and I am sure they are smiling down upon me, now that I have preserved their dream forever.”