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Ecosystem Services Markets Bill Passes Washington State Legislature

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Washington State has passed an AFT-supported bill that will result in new ecosystem services markets for farm and forest landowners while also potentially improving the performance of existing environmental mitigation and restoration programs.

SB 6805 was signed into law by Governor Gregoire on March 25.  It will contract a study of private farm and forest-based conservation markets and then support a pilot project to prove their feasibility. AFT led the introduction and a broad coalition in support for this bill. The bill’s prime sponsor (Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen) and her House colleague (Rep. Kelli Linville) were deeply interested and very influential in getting it passed. The bill also drew an extraordinary farm-environmental coalition that came out to enthusiastically support it, including: the Farm Bureau, Dairy Federation, Cattlemen’s Association, Forest Protection Association, and Grange on the agriculture side, and the Nature Conservancy, Washington Environmental Council, Cascade Land Conservancy, and Audubon Washington, on the environmental side. The bill passed unanimously through both houses and retained its funding despite a very tight budget.

The final bill and its history can be found here.

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Pacific Northwest Office
Don Stuart, Pacific Northwest States Director
3211 Beacon Ave. S. #26
Seattle, WA  98144
(p) (206) 860-4222
dstuart@farmland.org

 
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