Sustainable Lands Strategy


The Sustainable Lands Strategy (SLS) was established with the intent that fish, farm, and flood management advocates can make more progress by working together than by being at odds with each other.

The SLS was convened in 2010 by Snohomish County, Tulalip and Stillaguamish Tribes, state and federal agencies, and agricultural and environmental stakeholders to improve coordination and generate progress for fish, farm, and flood management interests.

Snohomish County’s Role

Snohomish County is the facilitator of the SLS, but does not have a formal seat on the Executive Committee. Instead, it offers a neutral forum where agencies and stakeholders can bring technical information, design support, and other resources to coordinate priorities and implement projects.

Benefits for All

The key behind the SLS is its mission to generate net gains in agricultural, tribal culture, and ecological productivity. The term “net gains” refers to the principle that the benefits of broad-scale agreements should be greater than the cost for every party involved. No person or group should be expected to accept a net loss so that someone else can gain. Only “win-win” agreements, in which all parties see more gain than loss should be completed under the SLS. By working together, projects for fish, farms, or flood management are “packaged” together to encourage coordination of funding, permitting, implementation, and support.

Read more about the SLS in The Daily Herald.

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“In an ever more complex world, comprehensive and creative solutions, such as those being developed under the county’s Sustainable Lands Strategy, are needed to resolve resource conflicts. Finding lasting solutions requires collaboration and communication. Individual stakeholders often times view the world through their own lens, but when stakeholders can start seeing issues through other stakeholders’ lenses and can recognize common ground, amazing things can be achieved.”

- Derek L. Sandison, Director, Washington State Department of Agriculture (Remarks at Snohomish County’s Focus on Farming & Focus on Forestry Conference, 11/3/16)

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