|In the Pacific Northwest (PNW) we are working for the long-term sustainability of the land, the environment, and the business of agriculture.
We nurture, support, and empower farmland protection advocates in the PNW through the following:
- Assembling and disseminating farmland loss research;
- Compiling useful technical information on farmland protection;
- Supporting planning grants to help local communities plan for farmland protection;
- Conducting local research, planning, and public processes to help communities adopt local farmland protection plans; and
- Conducting Cost of Community Services (COCS) Studies to inform local governments about the negative fiscal impacts of unchecked urban growth and
Our work with the agriculture community in Washington has been critical to the adoption of a state purchase of agricultural easements (PACE) program in 2005, the creation of the new Office of Farmland Preservation (OFP) in the Washington State Conservation Commission, and the formation of a Farmland Preservation Task Force now working to save Washington’s farms.
Learn more about our farmland protection projects in the PNW
We are actively working to improve agriculture's environmental performance in the PNW through a variety of programs. These include:
Ecosystem Service Markets:
Building on the
passasge of a landmark ecosystem services bill (SB 6805), we are helping to establish new ecosystem services markets for farm and forest landowners in the PNW. These ecosystem markets will provide economic incentives for farmers to engage in on-farm practices that provide such environmental commodities as wildlife habitat, biodiversity, salmon recovery and carbon sequestration. Currently we are:
- initiating local ecosystem service market pilot projects;
- improving regulatory policy so as to make them possible;
- engaging institutions likely to need ecosystem services;
- engaging the agencies that provide incentives; and
- informing and involving agriculture and environmentalists in helping to develop these markets
Integrated Pest Management (IPM):
IPM is a sustainable approach to pest management that
reduces the use of highly toxic pesticides and fertilizer, while maintaining or growing producer profits.
We are helping farmers in the PNW adopt IPM practices by:
- collaborating with the WSU Small Farms Program to create a “do-it-yourself” IPM
for small farmers
- drafting a farmer-friendly handbook on how to get started with IPM, and
- providing well-attended workshops for small farmers around the Puget Sound Basin.
With funding from Region 10 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency we also administer a Region-wide grant program for projects that increase the use or advance the
science of IPM.
Learn more about our environmental projects in the PNW
The only way to achieve our farmland protection and environmental goals in the PNW, is to maintain and enhance the economic sustainability of farmers in the region. We are doing this in a number of ways, including:
- Farm to city forums
- County-wide economic development plan for farmers
- Broadening the coalition for a stronger farm bill
- Economic development strategic planning for agriculture
- Measuring the challenges and opportunites of environmental regulation on agriculture
- Exploring critical mass for agriculture infrastructure
Learn more about how we're keeping agriculture economically viable in the PNW