Farmland Preservation Advisors Sought
OLYMPIA-The state Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC) is looking for volunteers to serve on an advisory committee for a new farmland preservation grant program.
The program provides grants to cities and counties to help preserve viable farmland. Grants also can be given to enhance the productivity and improve or restore the ecological functions of preserved farmland. Grants are used to compensate farmers for their development rights, thereby ensuring the land remains available for farming in the future. Landowner participation is voluntary; no land condemnation is allowed.
The Farmland Advisory Committee will advise IAC on program policies and recommend projects for funding. Members will be asked to attend the following meetings:
§ July 10-12, 2006 in Olympia to review project applications.
§ August 14-15, 2006 in Olympia to evaluate grant presentations.
§ August 23, 2006 in Olympia for a two-hour, post evaluation meeting (may participate via teleconference).
§ Two to four meetings (locations to be determined) between October 2006 and December 2007 to discuss program policies and make recommendations for changes for 2008 grants.
When the budget allows, travel expenses are provided.
The ideal candidate has firsthand knowledge of farming in Washington, is recognized for leadership in farmland or community organizations and is knowledgeable of farmland issues. Candidates selected should be able to fully participate in the calendar of committee activities referenced above. IAC will seek to form a committee that represents the state's diversity of agricultural commodities and regions.
Farmland preservation is a new grant category within the popular Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, one the state's largest grant programs for parks and conservation measures. This is the first year that farmland proposals will be accepted. Advisory committee members will play an important role by evaluating the first set of applications, reviewing the program's first year of operation and potentially recommending policy direction for future grants.
To apply for the advisory committee, send a completed application to IAC no later than June 2, 2006. Applications are available online at <http://www.iac.wa.gov/Documents/IAC/Grants/Farmland_Pres_Prog/farmland_adv_form.doc> or by contacting Lorinda Anderson at 360-902-3009 (Telephone Device for the Deaf at 360-902-1996) or LorindaA@iac.wa.gov.###
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