Category: Land Conservation

Climate actions: At home, at work, and everywhere in between, King County is delivering integrated solutions for a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable future

From scorching summertime heat to sustained seasonal flooding, climate change isn’t a theoretical exercise in King County: It’s real, and it’s happening now. King County is taking action to lessen the harmful impacts of climate change to people and our shared environment.Continue readingClimate actions: At home, at work, and everywhere in between, King County is delivering integrated solutions for a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable future

Survey says… Washington farmer-landowner relationships are important for on-farm conservation

In November, American Farmland Trust (AFT) released the Washington state fact sheet summarizing results from its Non-Operating Landowners (NOLs) survey that surveyed individually or partnership-owned lands. This survey revealed that there is significant opportunity for increased conservation practices on rented land to improve soil quality.

Since farming on rented land is very common in King County, these results are particularly valuable for our farming community.

“AFT conducted this survey in 11 states to learn more about NOL and renter relationships, communication in those relationships, conservation attitudes and behaviors, and conservation and outreach needs,” said Courtney Naumann, AFT Pacific Northwest Agricultural Stewardship Program Manager. “These results will help us understand who we should reach out to engage in conversations around agricultural stewardship, and how we can best serve demographics who fall into a renter/owner role.”Continue readingSurvey says… Washington farmer-landowner relationships are important for on-farm conservation

King County caps 1st year of Land Conservation Initiative with new tools to speed up open space protections and improve access for those that need it most

One successful year is in the books for King County’s accelerated and urgent work to conserve its last, best places

Continue readingKing County caps 1st year of Land Conservation Initiative with new tools to speed up open space protections and improve access for those that need it most

2017 Census of Agriculture: Main takeaways for King County

The Census of Agriculture, conducted once every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a voluntary mail survey that counts the number of U.S. farms and ranches, and looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income, and expenditures.

The Census of Agriculture provides comprehensive agriculture data for every county in the nation. There are limitations to the Census due to the voluntary nature of the Census survey. Census surveys do not capture every farmer in the U.S., and the survey questions present categories that may not be relevant or applicable to every farmer.

However, the Census is currently the one of the best ways to glean countywide data about producers and the economic role of agriculture, which can influence decisions that will shape the future of agriculture in King County. Continue reading2017 Census of Agriculture: Main takeaways for King County

Recycled water use in King County: Navigating water rights with innovative solutions

Many agricultural lands in King County lack access to irrigation water or do not have sufficient water to meet the farm’s needs. Access to a stable water source significantly influences how farmland can be used. Irrigation improves crop yields, allows for more diverse crops, and can generate higher revenues for farmers.

To more accurately understand the scope of water needs in King County, the King County Agricultural Program will begin a County-wide agricultural water needs assessment in 2019. There is not enough current information to determine how much water is needed for King County farms to successfully produce crops. The water needs assessment will be important for managing and conserving water in King County.

Meanwhile, King County is exploring innovative solutions in the Sammamish Valley to provide increased access to irrigation. One solution is using recycled water on farmland, which is called out as a priority action in King County’s Local Food initiative.Continue readingRecycled water use in King County: Navigating water rights with innovative solutions