The Pierce County Oversight Board has unanimously approved a revised land and water management plan that will help guide conservation efforts in the county for the next 10 years.
âThe Land and Water Plan helps guide the committee and guide staff on our resource issues and helps ensure we meet these goals throughout our annual work plans,â said Robb Webb, director of the land conservation department, at the board meeting. October 26.
The Resource Management Plan was first developed in 1999 and has been revised three times to reassess the natural resource issues in Pierce County.
âThe review process allows citizens, elected officials and agency staff to contribute to the next 10 years of county-level conservation programs,â said Webb.
The county’s land conservation committee held a public hearing for the review in May and used electronic polls to gather feedback from the community.
The revised plan includes four main conservation objectives to address the county’s main environmental issue:
Objective I: Water quality
The plan aims to improve and protect the quality of surface and groundwater in the county.
Specific objectives include promoting a positive conservation ethic among landowners and providing technical assistance and cost sharing for the installation of best water quality management practices.
âWith all of the high quality waterways that we have in the county, it is very evident that the work that has been done by landowners in the past [did] a good job protecting our feeds, âsaid Webb.
As part of this plan, the Land Conservation Department will monitor the quality of ground and surface water throughout the county and identify environmentally sensitive areas in cultivated fields, farms and uncultivated areas.
âThere is no excess water supply for drinking water in Pierce County, so protecting the quality of our groundwater is a very important goal in this plan,â said Webb.
Objective II: Agricultural land
This goal is to help preserve the county’s agricultural land and improve the health and productivity of agricultural soils.
To preserve agricultural land, the ministry will encourage landowners to adopt crop protection methods that reduce topsoil loss and increase infiltration through methods such as cover crops and diverse agricultural production systems. .
Objective III: Wildlife, forests
This goal is to promote the restoration and maintenance of wildlife habitats and the protection of environmentally sensitive lands in the county.
This includes raising awareness of aquatic and terrestrial species and restoring forests on steep slopes.
Objective IV: Climate variability
The main objective of this objective is to promote land use strategies that manage carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The intensity of rainfall has increased, placing more emphasis on maximizing soil infiltration of cropland,” says the revised plan.
âNo-till farming practices, cover crops and grassland borders will frequently be recommended to landowners as a method to combat the variability of current climatic weather,â the plan says.
It incorporates trends of increasing rainfall intensity to implement long-term soil protection.
The revised 2021 plan adopted by the board will be implemented over a 10-year period starting in 2022.
Read the Land and Water Resources Management Plan here.