Do You Support Farming in Clark County?

Do you support farming in Clark County?

Let the Clark County Council hear from you!

The Clark County Council is holding their annual planning retreat February 16th. Let them know you feel farming is a priority they should be planning for. Show your support for the “Conserve Long-term Commercially Viable Farms in Clark County – 2017 Winter Request”.

https://www.clark.wa.gov/councilors/write-councilor

Conserve Long-term Commercially Viable Farms in Clark County – 2017 Winter Requests:

Dedicate a Council Work Session to review the 2008 Agriculture Preservation Strategies Report, to identify success stories from its recommendations and identify opportunities for implementation. The Clark County Food System Council can put together a panel of local and regional experts for this work session.

Appoint an Agricultural Commission to work with citizens, agricultural producers and public officials to conserve and support long-term economically viable farms in Clark County (Recommended in 2008 Agriculture Preservation Strategies Report).

The 2008 Agriculture Preservation Strategies Report was developed by the Board of Clark County Commissioners to recommend the most effective short- and long-term actions to protect the opportunity to pursue and enhance commercial and non-commercial agriculture in the county. The 2012 County Council shelved the Agriculture Preservation Strategies Report and choose to let a small group of large landowners guide development of the rural areas of Clark County.

What can I do?

1. Offer comment at the next two County Council meetings in support of “Conserve Long-term Commercially Viable Farms in Clark County – 2017 Winter Request”. 2/7 6pm or 2/14 10am.

2. Have your farm, business, or organization sign the “Conserving long-term commercially viable farms in Clark County – 2017 Winter Request”

3. Email comment advocating the County Council support the “Conserve Long-term Commercially Viable Farms in Clark County – 2017 Winter Request”
https://www.clark.wa.gov/councilors/write-councilor

Why support FARMS?

Clark County farms support the local economy
· Local farms employ more than 4,000 people. Preserving agriculture land provides economic opportunity for new farmers and allows for existing farms to expand, keeping these jobs local.
· Supporting local farms keeps our money circulating locally.
· Locally produced food travels shorter distances, reducing transportation costs and carbon footprint while maintaining food quality.
· Privately-owned and managed agriculture land generates more local tax revenues than it costs in services.

Local food is healthy for people and for land
· Good farming practices can help preserve clean water and healthy soil.
· Encouraging the production, distribution, and procurement of food from local farms increases the availability to and consumption of locally produced foods for our community.
· Maintaining the potential to grow more of our own food helps make us resilient in the event of major emergencies.
· Local food has a lower risk of causing food-borne illnesses because it spends less time in transit, doesn’t change hands as often and is more apt to be processed in small batches.

The rural character of farm land enhances the quality of life
· A high quality of life is attractive to employers wanting to locate in Clark County.
· Agricultural land provides habitat for wildlife and allows natural water filtration.
· Food grown closer to consumers uses less fossil fuels which contribute to pollution, greenhouse gases and emissions, extreme heat days, flooding, drought, deteriorating air quality, and other impacts to human health.

Questions or feedback contact:
360-771-1296
info@slowfoodswwa.com

Growth Management Hearing: Wed 2/8

Growth Management Hearing, Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 at 9 AM

Friends of Clark County has joined with Futurewise to appeal the decision by the Clark County Council to expand homebuilding in rural Clark County. The hearing will be before the Growth Management Hearings Board on Wednesday, February 8th at 9 AM, in the Public Service Center hearing room on the 6th floor, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver, WA. In their recent update of the Comprehensive Plan for Clark County the councilors voted to reduce minimum lot sizes from 20 acres to 10 acres, 10 acres to 5 acres in many areas in the rural areas. Friends of Clark County is concerned that much farmland will be lost to homesites on large lots that are in violation of the Growth Management Act. Also appealing are Clark County Citizens United, who wants more building in rural areas and and a few others. The hearing will run into the afternoon, most likely.

We encourage your attendance to learn about how this will affect all Clark County citizens.

Growing Our Future 2017 Food Summit: Fri 2/10

Growing Our Future: The 2017 Food Summit

Friday, February 10, 2017 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Join Clark College and members of the community as we explore Ideas for a potential Ecology and Agronomy program and how its STEM and Career and Technical Education can provide the training needed for a vibrant local food ecosystem.

Cost: $10 per person (lunch included)

Register online at http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/arts-events/food-summit/

Clark College Columbia Tech Center
18700 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, WA

2017 Food Summit

Dick Dryland, FOCC Board Member, Receives Award

Congratulations to Friends of Clark County Board Member, Dick Dryland!

Dick received the Presidents’ Fishery Conservation Award from American Fisheries Society at its 2016 Annual Meeting. The Columbian Newspaper published an article of Dick’s achievement on September 1st.

Please join the Friends of Clark County in congratulating Dick and thanking him for his 20+ years of service to Clark County fish and habitat restoration efforts.

Dick-Award

Dick Dryland receiving his award at the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting on August 24th.

To learn more information about Dick Dryland’s amazing efforts and accomplishments regarding fish, wildlife, and watershed restoration, read the Nomination letter.

Nomination of Richard Dyrland

 

Press Release on Comp Plan Appeal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information Contact:

Sydney Reisbick
Cell: 360-333-0047
reisbicks@comcast.net

Appeal of Clark County’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan

Friends of Clark County (FOCC) filed a Petition for Review with the Washington State Growth Management Board on Friday, July 22, 2016, challenging the 2016 Comprehensive Plan and development regulations adopted by the Clark County Council on June 28, 2106. The petition was filed with co-petitioner Futurewise.
The petition addresses a dozen elements within the adopted plan that the Friends believe conflict with Washington State statutes. “Unfortunately this plan, like previous Clark County growth plans, fails to meet critical goals of the state’s Growth Management Act, and we are compelled to challenge the Council’s decision,” says Sydney Reisbick, President of Friends of Clark County.
Specific concerns include the significant loss, division, and development of Agricultural and Forest lands as well as land division of adjacent buffers. During the past three years of the county’s planning efforts, FOCC has repeatedly and consistently emphasized the GMA requirement to protect and preserve resource lands from development. Furthermore, the Friends have raised the challenges that increased rural development will pose on the County’s rural groundwater resources, and the costly toll projected development will have on our infrastructure.
The Clark County Council did not heed the warnings and concerns, and they adopted a plan that allows for resource land parcels to split in half, AG-20 can split to AG-10 and FOR-40 can split to FOR-20. According to Sue Marshall, a Ridgefield area farmer, “agricultural lands have taken a disproportionate hit in this rural comp plan. Size matters when it comes to farming and splitting up farms into smaller parcels will challenge the long term economic viability of farming in Clark County.”
This further division of resource lands means the County will violate their own adopted planning assumption of growth rates for the rural area of Clark County, which will require additional infrastructure to support that growth. Consequently, the petition questions if the Capital Facilities Plan meets the needs of future development, while also conforming to the GMA goal of encouraging development in urban areas. In addition the petition addresses the $158M deficit in the Transportation Plan.

Friends of Clark County

Friends of Clark County works collaboratively with the Southwest Washington community and regional friends to maintain and improve our quality of life, rural lands, farming and sustainable practices, including multiple transportation options and economic health.

Washington State’s Department of Commerce Letter

As part of the Comprehensive Planning Process under GMA, counties submit their preferred alternative to Washington State’s Department of Commerce (DOT) for review.  Clark County had planned to send the 2016 Comprehensive Plan to the DOC April 1, 2016; however, delays in the process pushed that submit date out to April 28th, 2016.  On June 20th, 2016, Mr. Ike Nwankwo, the Western Region Manager, Growth Management Services at DOT sent the following letter to Mr. Orjiako the Director of Community Planning.  This letter was forwarded to the County Councilors for their review the morning of June 21, 2016 prior to their deliberations and final adoption of the plan

2016 commerce letter