Enumclaw workshop to assist farmers with field-drainage issues
March 6, 2012 · Updated 3:01 PM
As part of an ongoing commitment to support agriculture while sustaining a healthy environment, King County is offering workshops with free assistance to farmers who need help with field-drainage issues related to fish and wildlife regulations. One of those sessions will be in Enumclaw.
“We want to help landowners maintain properly functioning drainage systems affordably and in a way that considers fish and wildlife issues,” said Mark Isaacson, director of King County’s Water and Land Resources Division. Maintaining farm field drainage ditches has become complicated during the past 20 years because many of the ditches – which are often altered streams – are home to Chinook salmon and other species protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.
The Enumclaw workshop will run from 7 to 9 p.m. March 22 at Enumclaw High School, 226 Semanski St. Earlier sessions, also at 7 p.m., will be on March 19 in Preston and March 20 in Woodinville.
At the workshops, staff from the county’s agriculture program and the King Conservation District will show participants how to get free, coordinated services from King County and the King Conservation District so maintenance projects can be done in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
Workshop topics include project timelines, best management practices, landowner costs, farm plan requirements, and how to obtain the necessary permit from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
King County has revised its Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program in coordination with state and federal agencies so farmers don’t have to be concerned about additional or unexpected regulatory requirements. The county is also working with King County Agriculture Commissioners to track the new effort and ensure its success.
Free services through ADAP include waterway surveys and fish relocation, if needed. Also, ADAP will reimburse landowners for any planting that might be required on the banks of the waterway.
More information is available at http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/wlr/sections-programs/rural-regional-services-section/agriculture-program.aspx.