A map of preserved land and potentially preserved land under the Land Conservation Initiative (courtesy of King County)

A map of preserved land and potentially preserved land under the Land Conservation Initiative (courtesy of King County)

King County preserves thousands of acres of farmland from development

The move is under the Land Conservation Initiative aimed at preserving 65,000 acres.

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced on August 12 progress toward his goal of protecting 13,500 acres of farmland needed to strengthen the local food economy, adding it to the 16,000 acres that the county has preserved over the past 40 years.

In 2016, Constantine launched the Land Conservation Initiative to protect 65,000 acres of the highest conservation-value open space in King County, which includes 13,500 acres of farmland. King County and partners have already protected 1,200 acres of farmland identified by the Land Conservation Initiative.

Many of the fresh goods that residents purchase at farmers markets, groceries, and restaurants today are grown on farmland that King County has protected with its successful Farmland Preservation Program.

Constantine included farmland in the Land Conservation Initiative to help ensure that future generations have equitable access to nutritious, locally grown food as the population grows and the cost of land rises.

“Our success in protecting farmland has made it possible for more people to enjoy the delicious foods and fresh flowers that King County is famous for, strengthening an equitable, sustainable local food economy,” said Constantine.

King County’s Farmland Preservation Program, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, has protected more than 16,000 acres of farmland that otherwise would have been lost to development. King County’s population has grown by 1 million people since the program was enacted in the early 1980s, increasing development pressure on all open spaces, including farmland.

In addition to protecting farmland, King County technical advisors collaborate with partners across the food system to connect farmers with resources they need to succeed, such as financial resources, advice on purchasing or renting the right farmland, assistance on crops, livestock, and soil fertility, recommendations for taking goods to market, and guidance on complying with food safety standards.

According to the county, farmers consistently tell King County staff that the biggest barrier to success is access to adequate and affordable farmland.

The county says they are also focusing on making access to farmland more equitable for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color and then connecting them with the resources they need to participate in the local food economy, producing culturally relevant food.

“The Farmland Preservation Program not only preserves land to promote growing local food and fiber, but preserves legacies of multi generational farms and the socio-economic impact they have on the local community,” said Leann Krainick, farmer with Krainick Dairy. “This program helped keep our multi generational farm operating.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Image courtesy Public Health Insider
New data dashboard tracks COVID risk for unvaccinated people | Public Health Insider

No vaccine is 100 percent protective, but unvaccinated people are 7 times more likely to catch COVID and 49 times more likely to be hospitalized.

Mount Rainier. Photo courtesy National Park Service
Rainclouds and cooler temperatures put an end to several local burn bans

Campfires are once again permitted at Mount Rainier park campgrounds.

file photo
Housing and finance insiders call for subsidized housing families can own, instead of rent

Advocates say increasing homeownership will strengthen the community, build intergenerational wealth

Becky Rush-Peet is embarking on a 500 mile journey through the Camino de Santiago this year. Photo by Alex Bruell.
Enumclaw woman starting second, longer pilgrimage after nearly dying in 2015 tree crash

Five years after being crushed by a tree, Becky Rush-Peet is going for a 500-mile walk.

The Sept. 13 Enumclaw City Council meeting was a full one, though no members of the city council, and few of the audience, actually wore masks. Screenshot
Enumclaw council returns to full force, but without masks as city breaks COVID records

Read why several council members choose not to wear a mask, even though the council is back to being fully in-person.

Local police officer Arthur Fetter competes with his father, Jeff, in the Double Bucking event. Photo by Ray Miller-Still.
Billy Clinkingbeard cinches All-Around Logger for seventh year in a row

Photos and scores from the 2021 Buckley Log Show.

Crossing the Carbon River requires a bit of balance.
Public comment sought for Carbon River Corridor plan

What should the future of the area look like?

Police lights
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | Sept. 9 – 15 |

Stolen motorcycles recovered and hit-and-run collisions

Reagan Dunn will face Kim-Khanh Van in the race for Metropolitan King County Council District 9.
Courier-Herald will host candidate forum for King County Council District 9

Kim-Khanh Van, Reagan Dunn will pitch their cases and answer questions from the community.

Most Read