Monte Marti, manager of Snohomish Conservation District, said the focus of the tour was “to talk about the big, gnarly, highly contentious issues that we’re facing, and how we’ll address them together successfully.”
There are many challenges impacting Snohomish County’s landscape and natural resources. Farmland is being lost. Some rivers and creeks have poor habitat conditions for salmon. And, the county has a long history of damaging floods, particularly in rural floodplain areas. Instead of fighting over which of these issues take priority or using a “silo approach” to address each issue separately, partners in Snohomish County have come together to prioritize and solve farm, fish, and flood issues together.
The Snohomish Conservation District, Tulalip Tribes, Stillaguamish Tribe, several local farmers, and many other local, state, and federal partners are working together as part of the Sustainable Lands Strategy (SLS) for Snohomish County. Using a combination of science, local knowledge, and other resources, the SLS group coordinates and prioritizes “packaged” work proposals that benefit farms, fish, and flood management. They then work together to seek funding and capacity to complete the proposed multi-benefit projects.