Farm Succession Planning Workbook Available

Olympia, WA – The Washington State Conservation Commission’s Office of Farmland Preservation is pleased to release Planning the Future of your Farm: A workbook supporting specialty crop farm transfer decisions. This workbook is available in English and Spanish, both online and in print.

“Washington has experienced a significant loss of productive farmland over the past several years,” said Ron Shultz, Policy Director of the State Conservation Commission. “One factor contributing to this loss of farmland is an aging farmer population and the need for transition planning to ensure the farm will pass to future generations as a working farm.”

Planning the Future of Your Farm is designed to help families keep their farmland in production or “in the family” as it passes to the next generation. Content is presented in four sections, each corresponding to a suggested planning process and supported by worksheets. Families can use it themselves or under the guidance of a professional advisor.

The Office of Farmland Preservation (OFP), located within the Washington State Conservation Commission, works to support the retention of farmland and ensure the continued viability of farming for future generations. This is achieved with tools such as innovative economic incentives, direct landowner assistance, education and outreach, local land use planning, food policy development, tax policy, farm succession, agricultural conservation easements, ecosystem markets, research assistance, and more.

Planning the Future of Your Farm is available online at http://ofp.scc.wa.gov/succession-planning/ To request a hard copy, please email ofp@scc.wa.gov with mailing information or call 360-407-6200.

For more information contact Ron Shultz at (360) 407-7507 or rshultz@scc.wa.gov
Please visit our website at http://ofp.scc.wa.gov/blog/

Asotin County Conservation District video selected for Pacific Northwest film event
Clarkston, WA – A short video featuring the collaborative effort of Asotin County Conservation District and local landowners to improve water quality will screen at “Stories of Our Watersheds” — a film event hosted by River Restoration Northwest. The event takes place on May 7, 2014 at the Hollywood Theater in Portland, Oregon.

The Asotin County Conservation District video highlights examples of “best management practices” for land use that balance goals of natural resource conservation with goals of agriculture. In candid interviews, local farmers and livestock owners describe how the conservation district helped them implement practices that improve water quality, protect steelhead, and conserve resources for future generations while still allowing for viable agricultural production.

The Asotin County Conservation District is one of 45 conservation districts in Washington State. Conservation Districts are locally governed entities that promote natural resource stewardship by offering voluntary, incentive-based programs to private landowners. To learn more about the Asotin County Conservation District, please visit www.asotincd.net or call 509-758-8012.

https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateConservationCommission

HEADGATE DAM FISH PASSAGE PROJECT
The District just received notification from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) that our grant application received final approval to complete the Headgate Dam Fish Passage project. Project scoping and final design is completed and construction is scheduled to begin in 2015. Headgate Dam, which is owned by Asotin County, has been identified as a fish barrier to ESA listed juvenile Chinook, steelhead and bull trout. This site has great historic and cultural significance to Asotin County residents so the goal was to be proactive in addressing the issue to prevent the possibility of another agency mandating a solution that could be very invasive such as removing the dam completely. Bruce Heiner, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, developed six design alternatives that would address the passage issue. Extensive effort was taken to involve county residents in the discussions and process of selecting a “preferred” design alternative. Residents wanted to ensure that the passage issue was addressed in a way that would maintain as much of the historic qualities of the dam as possible.

The preferred design alternative selected involves increasing the notch in the concrete structure and the construction of a roughened channel to maintain stability and prevent head cutting. We appreciate the cooperation and assistance from the Asotin County Board of Commissioners (including former commissioner Harold Beggs), Snake River Salmon Recovery Board, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and NezPerce Tribe. We especially want to thank the local landowners for their input and involvement throughout the process. We had the opportunity to hear many stories and see pictures from years ago of family members working on the dam, kids playing at the dam, etc. and it was evident that Headgate Dam holds a special place in the hearts of many.

Headgate Dam Fish Passage Project

EXPIRING CONTRACT OPTIONS FOR CRP
LANDOWNERS WITH EXPIRING CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM (CRP) CONTRACTS FACE A VARIETY OF ALTERNATIVES FOR MANAGING THE LAND.
If you choose not to re-enroll in CRP, or your bid to re-enroll is not accepted, your options will vary from returning the land to crop production to managing it for wildlife. If you wish to return your land to CRP, you may make modifications to improve your chances of getting the land accepted back into the program. The information sheet (link above) reviews some of your options, the considerations related to each and contacts for additional information. The options are not all-inclusive but focus on the most likely alternatives. You may even choose to separate the acreage and adopt more than one alternative.

Asotin Creek Intensively Monitored Watershed Study
September 2011

SNAKE RIVER SALMON RECOVERY BOARD (SRSRB)
SALMON RECOVERY FUNDING BOARD (SRFB)
The District recently received notification from the WA State Department of Revenue of changes to the “sales/use tax exemption for replacement parts for qualifying farm machinery and equipment, as it applies to irrigation equipment.” Although this does not affect the District, this may or may not apply to you. Further information can be obtained at http://dor.wa.gov or by calling DOR at 1-800-647-7706.

LIVING SNOW FENCES ARE LIFE SAVERS – Jim Schroeder, NRCS

INTENSIVELY MONITORED WATERSHED (IMW)
The IMW is a 10-12 year federally funded program that is intended to answer the question “are the habitat restoration projects producing more fish?” The Asotin Creek watershed was selected as the preferred location for conducting an IMW in southeast Washington. The approach is to use the south fork Asotin Creek as a control, the north fork Asotin Creek as a reference and Charley Creek as the treatment area. Monitoring will continue for the duration of the project and at its end, we expect to be able to answer the question “are habitat restoration projects producing more fish” with empirical data, not speculation that links fish numbers and health with specific restoration actions. To view the IMW plan go to www.snakeriverboard.org (Resources, Document Library, Documents, IMW), or for questions contact Sandy at ACCD or the project manager Steve Martin, SRSRB at (509) 382-4115.

Annual ACCD Report for 2013

Newsletters
December 2014 – Family Forest Fish Passage Program

  • Annual Grazing Confernce
  • Dep. of Natural Resource grant received
    September 2014 – ACCD elections
  • Family Forest Fish Passage Program (FFFPP)
  • ACCD streamlines, new phone system, Newsletter going digital
    February 2014 – ACCD sponsors 2 contests, N.A. Envirothon, W.S.U. competition
  • Residue Management Program begins
    December 2012 – Headgate Dam
  • George Creek Update
  • Direct Seed Meeting
    Fall 2012 – 2013 Envirothon
  • Project Opportunities – SRSRB
    Summer 2012 – DOE Grant for Riparian Area Projects
  • 2013-2015 CRP Take Out Residue Management Program
    March 2012 – Some New Cost-Share Rates
  • Annual Tree Sale