By establishing a conversation between historically contentious groups, projects benefiting fish, farm and flood interests can come to fruition.
Why is SLS Needed?
Over 80 percent of the designated farmland in Snohomish County is in the floodplain and estuaries. These areas have competing interests for habitat, salmon recovery, and water management. Protection of farmland has decreased primarily due to rapid urban growth but also due to habitat restoration projects. Tribal treaty rights, and the Endangered Species Act provides legal mandates for salmon recovery. The Growth Management Act requires the county to simultaneously protect resource lands and critical areas. These obligations – farmland protection, salmon recovery, and flood management – within rivers and estuaries, have generated a clash of interests, frequently leading to mistrust, anger, fear, regulatory friction, litigation, and gridlock for farms, flood control districts, and for salmon habitat and water quality projects.
The SLS Executive Committee consists of up to eight people with farm, fish or flood control interests.