Protecting Our Land Resources
To protect agricultural land for future use, as required by the Washington State Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A), communities are taking steps to preserve farmland and open space by purchasing development rights for agricultural land. This means that the land can remain in agricultural use, without landowners being tempted to sell the land to developers. This also allows landowners to remain on their land and continue to use it.
As the prices of land increases, developers are attracted to purchase land for future development. By purchasing the development rights of agricultural land, farms are more likely to remain economically viable.
Stillaguamish Valley Protection Initiative (SVPI)
The SLS partners are working to develop a program to protect large blocks of contiguous farmland and reduce development pressure in the Lower Stillaguamish Floodplain. This plan may be folded into the reach-based plan for this area and will aim to protect river frontage, old-growth forest, fish and wildlife habitat, agricultural lands and outdoor recreation. For more information on the SVPI, please visit here.
Agriculture Resilience Planning
To be resilient means to withstand change or difficulties. This is something farmers are accustomed to, but climate change brings new challenges as we experience increased temperatures, drought, and high-intensity rainfall events.
The SLS is working with Snohomish Conservation District on a Snohomish County Agriculture Resilience Plan. The goal is to continue to grow an economically viable agricultural system in Snohomish County that supports the community’s needs for food and open space as we face the impacts of climate change and development pressure.
The Resilience Plan will allow the agricultural community to be represented at the table of other floodplain planning efforts such as salmon recovery, flood mitigation, and development planning. Priorities set forth in the plan can be used to develop multi-benefit approaches to floodplain and watershed management in Snohomish County. The Resilience Plan will then serve as a powerful tool allowing the agricultural community and partners to work together toward implementation of these goals to secure funding and regulatory efficiencies.
Please contact the Snohomish Conservation District for more information, or visit http://snohomishcd.org/ag-resilience.
Photo Voice for Agricultural Resilience
Seven farms took part in the Photovoice Project hosted by the Snohomish Conservation District and The Nature Conservancy. Through a series of four workshops, participants responded to two questions - "Why is agriculture important to our community?" and "What are the major challenges facing agriculture?" - through photos and discussion. Farmers each selected three of their photos, including captions, that are now part of this exhibition. By sharing their story and thoughts with decision makers through this exhibit, these farmers hope to address some of the pressing issues facing agriculture in this County. Please go to http://tinyurl.com/SnoCoPhotovoice to view the photovoice images.
You can also read the article in the Everett Herald on the Photo Voice project at http://www.heraldnet.com/news/farmers-use-cameras-to-document-changes-to-life-on-the-land/
Snohomish Basin Salmon Story Map
The goal of ESRP’s story maps is to tell the story of various aspects, groups, interests in the Snohomish River estuary – including sea level rise and flood control, recreation, tribes, and agriculture. By telling our stories and listening to the stories of others, we will better understand our shared values and differences. Interested in collaborating? ESRP staff will provide the web platform and the work to put it together, but we need you to tell us your stories! Why is the estuary important to you? The salmon story is written – now it is time to understand why this land is important to others. If you would like to share your stories or have an idea about story maps you’d like to see, please email Lindsey Desmul.
Snohomish Farmland Conservation Strategy
Farmland in Snohomish County is at risk. As one of the fastest growing counties in the country, we are losing farmland to development and other non-agricultural uses quickly. Agriculture in Snohomish County is a $139.5-million-dollar industry, and Snohomish County residents place significant value on farmland for the many benefits it provides: local food, open space, wildlife habitat, and flood storage. The goal of the Snohomish Farmland Conservation Strategy is to protect our farmland into the future.