Event Title

Agriculture-watershed characterization and mapping to support a marketplace approach for implementing planning priorities in Whatcom County

Presentation Abstract

Agricultural operations and watershed features have long been key components of Whatcom County’s distinct landscape. Both are critical for our community’s economy and health. While it may seem that agriculture and watershed functions are at odds with one another after decades of regulations and planning, there are in fact many locations where protection of agricultural lands and enhancement of watershed functions can result in mutual benefits. The Whatcom County Agriculture-Watershed Pilot Project examined ways to reward the good things that farmers already do - those beneficial actions that go beyond existing regulation to maintain, enhance or protect large-scale watershed processes, while also strengthening agriculture in Whatcom County. The project explored quantitative tools to help prioritize, measure, recognize and account for voluntary actions that go above and beyond what is required by regulation, and that can generate benefits for both agricultural and watershed functions. This has been part of a larger effort within the project to examine how incentive-based approaches can work with current regulation to strengthen agricultural endeavors while also enhancing large-scale watershed processes. The methodology for agriculture-watershed characterization and mapping was developed and pilot-tested during Phase 1 of the project, and was based on the approach used in the Department of Ecology’s Puget Sound Watershed Characterization Project. Agriculture-watershed characterization and mapping work, conducted with inputs from a range of local stakeholders, identified and located agricultural and watershed priorities so that they could be mapped concurrently. The mapping process allows agricultural priorities to be integrated into routine spatial planning for consideration alongside adopted watershed priorities in Whatcom County’s lowland areas. The project was funded by a National Estuary Program Watershed Protection and Restoration Grant to Whatcom County Planning & Development Services. Project Partners included: Whatcom Farm Friends, Whatcom Conservation District and the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Session Title

Lessons from Management Approaches

Conference Track

SSE4: Ecosystem Management, Policy, and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE4-162

Start Date

6-4-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 9:15 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 6th, 9:00 AM Apr 6th, 9:15 AM

Agriculture-watershed characterization and mapping to support a marketplace approach for implementing planning priorities in Whatcom County

Agricultural operations and watershed features have long been key components of Whatcom County’s distinct landscape. Both are critical for our community’s economy and health. While it may seem that agriculture and watershed functions are at odds with one another after decades of regulations and planning, there are in fact many locations where protection of agricultural lands and enhancement of watershed functions can result in mutual benefits. The Whatcom County Agriculture-Watershed Pilot Project examined ways to reward the good things that farmers already do - those beneficial actions that go beyond existing regulation to maintain, enhance or protect large-scale watershed processes, while also strengthening agriculture in Whatcom County. The project explored quantitative tools to help prioritize, measure, recognize and account for voluntary actions that go above and beyond what is required by regulation, and that can generate benefits for both agricultural and watershed functions. This has been part of a larger effort within the project to examine how incentive-based approaches can work with current regulation to strengthen agricultural endeavors while also enhancing large-scale watershed processes. The methodology for agriculture-watershed characterization and mapping was developed and pilot-tested during Phase 1 of the project, and was based on the approach used in the Department of Ecology’s Puget Sound Watershed Characterization Project. Agriculture-watershed characterization and mapping work, conducted with inputs from a range of local stakeholders, identified and located agricultural and watershed priorities so that they could be mapped concurrently. The mapping process allows agricultural priorities to be integrated into routine spatial planning for consideration alongside adopted watershed priorities in Whatcom County’s lowland areas. The project was funded by a National Estuary Program Watershed Protection and Restoration Grant to Whatcom County Planning & Development Services. Project Partners included: Whatcom Farm Friends, Whatcom Conservation District and the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife.