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May 23, 2024

Skagit County Public Works Publishes Farmland Legacy 2023 Annual Report

Skagit County Public Works has published the Farmland Legacy 2023 Annual Report, chronicling the County’s work protecting local farmland in the past year. The report provides insight into the role of agriculture in Skagit County and how protecting farmland helps us preserve agricultural viability.

After protecting 425 acres of farmland in 2023, Skagit County farmland under conservation easement protection now totals 14,700 acres.

The report can be accessed online here.

The 2023 report covers the following:

  • Featured Properties: Meet the farmland owners who voluntarily protected their land in 2023
  • Centerfold map of protected properties in western Skagit County
  • Number of acres protected and overall farmland data
  • Funding sources and partnerships 
  • Current statistics for Skagit County agriculture
  • Interview with the farmer responsible for protecting the most farmland acres in Skagit County

About the Skagit County Farmland Legacy Program
The Farmland Legacy Program is a county-funded initiative that compensates landowners for placing a perpetual conservation easement on their land. Landowners retain ownership of their land and continue their farming operations as usual. The conservation easement runs with the land, no matter who owns it. The program’s primary goal is to protect Skagit County's vital agricultural productivity.

The Skagit County Farmland Legacy Program is one of the most active and successful farmland preservation programs across Washington state, due to the number of protected acres and the ongoing community and county government support.

Despite strong land-use planning, Washington continues to lose farmland to development—nearly 100,000 acres between 2001 and 2016. Over 50% of the land lost was considered the state’s best quality farmland, according to the American Farmland Trust’s recent report.  

If you have questions or need additional information about the data presented in the Farmland Legacy report, please contact Skagit County Farmland Legacy Program Coordinator Sarah Stoner at sstoner@co.skagit.wa.us or (360) 416-1417. For more information on the program, please visit skagitcounty.net/farmland.