Advocacy Update: Fish, Farm, Flood 2.0

The Fish, Farm, Flood (FFF) process, initiated by King County in 2012, brought together key stakeholders to develop a plan to balance the needs of fish habitat while stewarding critical agricultural land and minimizing flood impacts. A large part of this work strives to untangle the puzzle of how to locate stream and riparian projects in areas that will result in the most positive impact on fish habitat while yielding the least loss of high quality farmland. SnoValley Tilth actively participated in FFF 1.0 and is proud to continue our advocacy in FFF 2.0.

FFF “2.0” was launched in January 2018 and is organized with an Implementation Committee and three Task Forces to drive the completion of tasks developed during the first phase of the work.

The Regulatory Task Force was established to address regulatory barriers to agricultural production. They are currently identifying potential changes to King County code (and may eventually include the Washington State Code) that would allow for more streamlined and effective management of agricultural lands. They are working to bring a package of code changes before County Council by December 2018. Primary areas of interest are drainage, zero rise, and mitigation for impacts to critical areas.

The goal of the Buffer Task Force is to establish a strategy for agricultural buffer planting that will provide positive outcomes for both fish and farms. They are currently working on pulling together the best available science on agricultural buffers from places similar to the Snoqualmie Valley then writing an Ag Issues Paper that details the benefits and challenges of buffers. By December 2019 they will be using their research to develop a decision-making tool that combines science, policy, and local knowledge to identify the relative impact of a buffer planting in any given stretch of the Snoqualmie River.

The Strategic Plan Task Force will create an Agriculture Strategic Plan for the Snoqualmie Valley that improves the long-term productivity of farmland, brings more acres into production, and increases opportunities for farmers to develop the necessary infrastructure to support or increase their farm businesses. The current focus is on pulling together mapping data for agricultural lands in the Snoqualmie Valley. They will dive more into the work of identifying key agricultural needs starting this summer.

The Implementation Committee oversees the work as a whole. The team meets quarterly to hear updates from the Task Forces and discuss any issues that may arise. These meetings are open to the public – the next one will be in July.

The Task Forces and Implementation Committee all have representatives from the three interest areas of Fish, Farm, and Flood with four different people representing agricultural interests on each Task Force. SnoValley Tilth has representatives on the Implementation Committee and the Strategic Plan Task Force and we talk regularly with agricultural representatives on the other committees. If you have questions or would like to learn more reach out to Melissa at melissa@snovalleytilth.org.

Documents from FFF 1.0 are available HERE