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Ebey's Landing gets more money

"Before they left the nation’s capitol for the holidays, Congress approved a nearly $390 billion spending bill that includes $1 million for Ebey’s Prairie.U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., announced this week that Ebey’s Landing Historic Reserve will receive $1 million to purchase land or conservation easements on about 100 acres of land within the reserve. Gorton is chairman of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.The reserve’s Rob Harbour said the money will likely go toward the preservation of land owned by the estate of the late Robert Pratt. Pratt owned about 650 acres of land within the reserve. When he died last March, his will ordered the Ebey’s Landing beach and scenic fields on its bluff protected by conservation, but left other lands to his heirs. The reserve buys conservation easements to protect key areas within its Central Whidbey boundaries. Conservation easements prevent land from being developed in the future, but allow private uses, like farming, to continue.Harbor said the money will show the Pratt heirs that the government supports plans to keep the land protected.“It’s a pretty critical link that will allow us to work for a pretty good deal with Mr. Pratt’s estate,” Harbour said Friday. “I’m ecstatic.”Last year, Gorton helped add $1.5 million of Ebey’s Landing money into the 1999 appropriations bill."

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