Easement Created By: 

Carl and Sonia Schmitt


Dixie, Washington


55 acres

Protected Since:



When Carl and Sonia Schmitt retired to Walla Walla, their rural home was surrounded by everything that Sonia, a Walla Walla native, always loved about the area. But within a few years, Carl and Sonia saw the lush forests and produc ve farmland surrounding their home threatened by new development. When neighboring landowners announced plans for new houses and a private airstrip in a wheat eld next to their home, Carl and Sonia knew they had to act fast to protect their way of life.

Carl and Sonia successfully bought their neighbors’ land and stopped its development. But they knew this was a temporary solu on – the land would be protected only as long as they owned the property. They wanted to protect their land permanently. To do that, they united
with other local individuals concerned about the future of land use in the area and formed the Blue Mountain Land Trust. Its founding mission became partnering with landowners to protect natural areas, scenic views and working farmland from development.

When the Blue Mountain Land Trust was formed, Carl and Sonia donated a conserva on easement on their property to the land trust, ensuring their 69 acres would remain as forests and farmland forever. This easement permanently protects the sensi ve riparian area along Mill Creek and Titus Creek, preserving important sh and wildlife habitat. It also protects the property’s agricultural use, ensuring it will be farmed for many years. Achieving mul ple goals – protec ng sensi ve areas while encouraging con nued use of produc ve land – is now typical of Blue Mountain Land Trust easements.