Conservation | Org News

Help protect the Stillaguamish Valley

At PCC Farmland Trust, we believe that healthy farms make healthy communities. Well-managed farmland promotes soil health, water conservation, habitat protection, and climate resiliency. It produces healthy food, keeps rural economies thriving, and connects us to the natural world. This couldn’t be more true in the Stillaguamish Valley.

Nested along the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, “the Stilly,” as it is known by local residents, is dotted with farms that have been in the same families for generations. The area is ripe with recreation opportunities, and the river serves as an important return for threatened Chinook Salmon populations. Needless to say, the valley is a prized landscape not just for farmers, but also Tribal leaders and all those who enjoy its natural offerings.

But like so many other farming communities across our region, it is threatened. With ever-growing development pressures creeping in from Snohomish County, to the continued fragmentation of local farm businesses, community members are concerned about the future of this special place. Most troubling of all, climate impacts such as flooding and sea-level rise continue to worsen, degrading soil, threatening salmon, and putting communities at risk.

These threats compel us to focus in on the Stillaguamish River Valley as our next priority area for conservation. In early 2018, we protected our first farm in the Stilly — the 171-acre Johnson Farm in Stanwood. Thanks in part to our conservation efforts, that land is now in the hands of a new generation of growers, helping to carry forward the farm’s 100+ year legacy. Today, we are working with partners through the Stilly Valley Protection Initiative to promote conservation to farmers of varying scales across the valley. Currently, there are 30 farmers who manage a collective 3,000 acres in the area interested in conserving their land. In addition, PCC Farmland Trust has four farms, totaling 500 acres, queued up for conservation in the Stilly through the Our Farms, Our Future campaign.

Though there is so much work to be done to ensure our family farms remain viable and our rivers and wildlife are brought back to health, we are guided by our vision that farmland conservation is the first step to creating a healthy, resilient community. We believe that if we join hands to protect what we love most about our home, we can make the future we want possible.

All first-time gifts up to $5,000 will be matched, thanks to a generous donor.

Thank you for building a healthy, sustainable future with us.