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Midway’s Lundin family farm moves closer to conservation easement

Wasatch County will consider contributing to help put a conservation easement on open space just outside Midway.
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The Lundin property's 119 acres will be placed under a conservation easement.

Nearly 120 acres of land are poised to be preserved as open space in Midway.

The Lundin family has farmed in Midway for four generations. The 119-acre property near Wasatch Mountain State Park is visible from all over the Heber Valley.

Now, the family can rest assured its land will be protected for future generations through a partnership with Utah Open Lands, which is working to finalize a conservation easement.

Nora Lundin, who lives in Heber, said she’s grateful her family can keep the land as a legacy to her ancestors.

“My family has been at that farm in Midway since 1892, and we’re the fourth generation to work that land,” she said. “When my parents passed away, it really broke my heart to think that we were going to have to someday sell it.”

After meeting the executive director of Utah Open Lands, Wendy Fisher, in 2019, Nora Lundin and her brothers Mike and Randy started the process of securing an easement.

Fisher said the land is a valuable part of the Heber Valley.

“When the siblings came to Utah Open Lands and talked to us about whether we could help them preserve it, we were all in,” she said.

There were some bumps along the road: one of the Lundin brothers would have preferred to sell the land, and the siblings were in a legal battle for a few years. Now they’ve reached a settlement, so the easement can move forward.

The land would be worth around $12 million if it were sold for development.

Wasatch County pledged $2 million in 2022, and Midway committed $1 million for the land last summer.

Fisher said with the settlement, Utah Open Lands may apply to other funding sources for the farm as well.

“If the settlement can move forward and we can get the documentation in place, there is the possibility that Utah Open Lands could apply for NRCS funding, and then hopefully help to match some of the county and city money,” she said.

That’s the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a potential source of federal funding for the easement.

Lundin said she cares about preserving land for future generations to enjoy.

“I think we have to start really being protective of what we have left,” she said. “It’s just so important because it’s not going to go back. Once they build houses on it, that's how it's going to be – it’s not going to be farmland anymore, it’s not going to be an open field.”

Fisher said she hopes the easement is finalized by this fall. She said the addition of this open space in Wasatch County is worth celebrating.

“All of these conservation easements take time, and the landowners who participate in it do so because they love their land,” Fisher said. “And likewise, the community, in passing these open space bonds, demonstrate their appreciation for landowners who are willing to contribute to such a tremendous legacy for the Heber Valley.”

In March, the Wasatch County Council dedicated $3 million to conserve 200 acres of the North Fields.

When the Lundin farm easement is completed, Wasatch County will have around 350 acres of protected open space. Utah Open Lands is also working to secure funding for another 200 acres.

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