2018 Policy Priorities
The Washington Association of Land Trusts unites 25 land trusts across the state to advance voluntary, collaborative conservation. The Association connects and leverages the work of members to protect and restore the lands that sustain us.
Land trusts are partnering with communities across the state to conserve land for future generations — but success hinges on supportive public funding and tools. In the face of increased development, population growth, and a changing climate, it is more important than ever to support policies & programs that will ensure that our farms, forests, and shorelines continue to contribute to Washington’s economy, culture, and landscape.
Download our fact sheet on WALT’s Policy Platform 2018
1) Protect funding and integrity of state Capital Budget programs
Washington state’s Capital Budget funds critical programs to help communities conserve and restore lands and waters for future generations – and in turn, support local economies, quality of life, and outdoor recreation. WALT urges the passage of the 2016-2017 state Capital Budget, without changes to funding levels or project lists for natural resource programs.
2) Advance agricultural land protection through the federal Farm Bill
Washington’s agricultural lands not only provide us with food and support local economies, but they also are critical for water quality, wildlife habitat, and landscape health. In the face of population growth and development pressure, Washington’s farmland is at risk of conversion. WALT supports continued investments in agricultural lands easements in the federal Farm Bill, through maintaining funding for the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s ACEP-ALE program; streamlining administration of the program; and modifying the program to allow buy-protect-sell projects to help new and beginning farmers access land.
3) Advance carbon sequestration and climate adaption investments through natural resource protection
As Washington state develops proposals to mitigate the impacts of climate change through carbon sequestration and climate adaptation, WALT supports strategies that invest in natural resource conservation and restoration. Land trusts have the ability to both prevent conversion of lands to development and to implement management practices that increase carbon storage in forests, agricultural soils, and grasslands. At the same time, land trusts’ ongoing work to improve landscape connectivity will become increasingly important as a way to help fish, wildlife and plants adapt to a changing climate.