Please donate to support publication of the
Inland FoodWise Online Journal


Please Donate for Farmland Preservation in Spokane this Giving Tuesday

Chrys Ostrander

We in the Spokane region are in a battle for our food system's future. It's obvious we can't fully rely on imported food to keep our communities fed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic or the unfolding era of climate change. We must preserve, maintain and invigorate our local capacity for food production.

A great place to start is working to preserve arable farmland from development. Make no mistake, Spokane is being targeted by developers right now who only see flat, undeveloped soil, regardless of its suitability for growing food, as a place to build housing developments from which to reap profits. We can do better-- we must do better, but right now our local government land-use policies are failing to preserve farms and farmland.

A striking example of local government policy failure is the City's approval to build 94 homes on a 48-acre farm that's on some of the city's only zoned agricultural land, that is comprised of USDA "Prime" agricultural soil, that has water rights to draw from Hangman Creek for irrigation as well as an agricultural well with an intact certified water right and has existing farm infrastructure in good condition. This decision to approve the development is the latest blatant example of the failure of local government to live up to its own commitments, specified in the City's Comprehensive Plan to "preserve, protect and restore unique and non-renewable resources or features such as wetlands, wildlife habitat, agricultural areas, and special natural areas [and] protect Comprehensive Plan-designated agricultural lands for continued agriculture use."

The Spokane Farmland Preservation Working Group formed in 2019 to act as a counterweight to the pro-development tendency of local government that favors private profit over community quality of life, health and resiliency. Farmland preservation is crucial. A community is only ever given so much farmland. Once it's built over, it's gone forever.

Won't you please consider donating to the Spokane Farmland Preservation Working Group this Giving Tuesday? There's so much work to do. We can't afford to stand by and watch as precious farmland is paved over forever. We must act.

We have two ways to donate: You can donate to the Working Group's operating fund and support our day-to-day activities (we are an all-volunteer organization, no one is paid) or you can donate to our Farmland Preservation Fund that sets aside donations toward the purchase of arable lands of local importance and/or farmland preservation easements for those lands.

You may donate securely on-line here:

Your donation is tax-deductible

December, 2020