On Wednesday, March 10, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a bill establishing an Agricultural Scenic Corridor from Starbird Road through Bow Hill Road on Interstate 5. The bill, which was passed unanimously by the Senate and House, now sets the stage for the community to come together to create a corridor management plan that could protect and enhance the natural qualities of the corridor and reinforce the value of the Skagit Valley to the economy and ecology of Puget Sound.
SPF is excited about the potential for this designation as it provides one more tool in the toolbox to help protect farmland.
SPF has been successful in partnering with Skagit County’s Farmland Legacy Program over the past two years to leverage public and private donor dollars to protect farmland along the I-5 corridor, south of the Mount Vernon city limits. The designation as an Agricultural Scenic Corridor brings the potential for increased federal funding to Skagit County for protecting more farmland in this critical corridor.
“A special thanks goes to Senator Mary Margaret Haugen and her staff ,along with Representatives Morris and Quall for helping make this legislation happen,” said SPF Executive Director Allen Rozema, “along with all of you who called and advocated for the successful passage of this bill. The designation of an Agricultural Scenic Corridor in Skagit County will help increase the awareness of the long history and value of family farming in this area, and the importance of preserving the features that give our region its rich character.”