Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is offering for lease approximately 3,000 acres of agricultural land in the Paterson-Horse Heaven Hills region. All bids are due by 1 p.m., April 6, 2017. Learn more
This bid opportunity is unique for a several reasons: its large size, an atypical lease structure and the ability to tap into 3.9 acre feet of non-interruptible Columbia River water per acre.
This structure of this lease will differ from our standard agricultural leases. Most notably, we’re looking to the bid winner to construct the supply system needed to deliver water to the land. To that end, the agency will allow proposals with rental terms designed to reimburse against the winning bidder’s investment – such as a long-term lease of up to 35 years and reduced lease rates.
The agency will select its future lessee based on a range of criteria, including the applicant’s financial capabilities and ability to perfect DNR’s water rights. Environmental considerations also will factor in, such as whether the applicant intends to grow organic crops or preserve areas of shrub-steppe as wildlife habitat.
“We know this is not a typical agricultural land lease, but we also know that access to prime irrigated farmland is valuable. We want applicants to be creative and propose what can work for them, and us,” says DNR Southeast Region Manager Todd Welker. “We’ve done a lot of work upfront. We think this approach will preserve a valuable water right, generate revenue for public beneficiaries and pencil out for someone.”
To reduce risk, DNR has already negotiated needed agreements and right-of-ways for the water supply system. We’re also providing water pipeline and pump station engineering drawings, electrical drawings and a project cost estimate, which rings in at $11 million.
Want to find out more? Check out www.Paterson2017.com, which has overhead drone footage of the available farmland, associated documents and parcel temperature data. You’ll also be able to sign up to get email updates about this unique lease offering.