WPC on HB 1838 Pt 1

WPC on HB 1838 Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. HB 1838, better known as the Buffer Bill, is causing quite a stir in ag circles. If passed, it would require farmers to expand the buffer zone between streams, rivers and lakes and farming activities up to 100-to-250 feet.

Washington Policy Center’s Ag Initiative Director, Pam Lewison says she has some serious misgivings with this legislation …

LEWISON … “The kicker out of this bill, there’s two components that I think are really problematic. You know, the first is, that the bill first says, hey we’re going to have you implement these buffers, but it’s okay because we’re going to compensate you for the land that we are effectively taking.”

And for that compensation, Lewison says they will use the Conservation Reserve Enhancement rate …

LEWISON … “That rate is $100 and acre in Washington state, per year. And they’re going to give you that rate for 10-years. So, for $1,000 an acre you have to abandon the land that falls in that riparian zone in perpetuity.”

The problem there, Lewison says is the value of your land …

LEWISON … “In 2019, farmland was valued at an average of $13,000 and acre in Washington state. So, for less than 10% of the value per acre of your land, you are required to abandon it forever.”

And, Lewison says it would be mandatory, not voluntary.

Tune in tomorrow for other problems within HB 1838, the Buffer Bill.

Previous ReportFarm Labor Reform Pt 2
Next ReportWPC on HB 1838 Pt 2