I am happy to learn this morning that Pierce County in Washington is protecting its rich farmland in the Puyallup Valley from developers.
Why? I’ll get really basic. The land has already been developed. It was logged many years ago and converted into farmland. Farmland is its highest, most brilliant and diamond-cut use. The Pacific Northwest soils are so fertile they support more biomass than any other soil on our continent. Why would we plant strip-malls and subdivisions on that kind of soil?
Is there anybody, aside from developers looking for a quick profit, who is looking objectively at our nation and saying, “Wow, we are so low on subdivisions and strip-malls. We need to build more of them. Way too much food growing here; got to pave that soil over.” I ask you?
In 2006 I wrote and produced a short film for Oregon League of Conservation Voters in which I interviewed eight Oregonians. Two of them, a husband and wife, owned a small farm in Washington County. They stood in front of their barn with their three children and told me, “We’re worried. We can feel the urban growth boundary marching toward us. You know, once you put concrete over this soil, you don’t get it back again.”