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79A.15.120  <<  79A.15.130 >>   79A.15.140

Farm and forest accountUse of funds.

(1) The farm and forest account is established in the state treasury. The board will administer the account in accordance with chapter 79A.25 RCW and this chapter, and hold it separate and apart from all other money, funds, and accounts of the board. Moneys appropriated for this chapter to the farm and forest account must be distributed for the acquisition and preservation of farmlands and forestlands in order to maintain the opportunity for agricultural and forest management activity upon these lands.
(2) Moneys appropriated beginning July 1, 2016, for this chapter shall be divided as follows:
(a) Not less than ninety percent for the acquisition and preservation of farmlands.
(b) Not less than ten percent for the acquisition and preservation of forestlands.
(3) Moneys appropriated for this chapter to the farm and forest account may be distributed for: (a) The acquisition of a less than fee simple interest in farmlands or forestland, such as a conservation easement or lease; (b) the enhancement or restoration of ecological functions on those properties; or (c) both. In order for a farmland or forestland preservation grant to provide for an environmental enhancement or restoration project, the project must include the acquisition of a real property interest.
(4) Cities, counties, nonprofit nature conservancies, and the conservation commission may apply for acquisition and enhancement or restoration funds for farmland or forestland preservation projects within their jurisdictions under subsection (1) of this section.
(5) The board may adopt rules establishing acquisition and enhancement or restoration policies and priorities for distributions from the farm and forest account.
(6) The acquisition of a property interest in a project under this section does not provide a right of access to the property by the public unless explicitly provided for in a conservation easement or other form of deed restriction.
(7) Except as provided in RCW 79A.15.030(8), moneys appropriated for this section may not be used by the board to fund staff positions or other overhead expenses, or by cities, counties, nonprofit nature conservancies, or the conservation commission to fund operation or maintenance of areas acquired under this chapter.
(8) Moneys appropriated for this section may be used by grant recipients for costs incidental to restoration and acquisition, including, but not limited to, surveying expenses, fencing, noxious weed control, and signing.
(9) The board may not approve a local project where the local agency's or nonprofit nature conservancies' share is less than the amount to be awarded from the farm and forest account. In-kind contributions, including contributions of a real property interest in land, may be used to satisfy the local agency's or nonprofit nature conservancies' share.
(10) In determining the acquisition priorities for farmland projects, the board must consider, at a minimum, the following criteria:
(a) Community support for the project;
(b) A recommendation as part of a limiting factors or critical pathways analysis, a watershed plan or habitat conservation plan, or a coordinated regionwide prioritization effort;
(c) The likelihood of the conversion of the site to nonagricultural or more highly developed usage;
(d) Consistency with a local land use plan, or a regional or statewide recreational or resource plan. The projects that assist in the implementation of local shoreline master plans updated according to RCW 90.58.080 or local comprehensive plans updated according to RCW 36.70A.130 must be highly considered in the process;
(e) Benefits to salmonids;
(f) Benefits to other fish and wildlife habitat;
(g) Integration with recovery efforts for endangered, threatened, or sensitive species;
(h) The viability of the site for continued agricultural production, including, but not limited to:
(i) Soil types;
(ii) On-site production and support facilities such as barns, irrigation systems, crop processing and storage facilities, wells, housing, livestock sheds, and other farming infrastructure;
(iii) Suitability for producing different types or varieties of crops;
(iv) Farm-to-market access;
(v) Water availability; and
(i) Other community values provided by the property when used as agricultural land, including, but not limited to:
(i) Viewshed;
(ii) Aquifer recharge;
(iii) Occasional or periodic collector for stormwater runoff;
(iv) Agricultural sector job creation;
(v) Migratory bird habitat and forage area; and
(vi) Educational and curriculum potential.
(11) In allotting funds for environmental enhancement or restoration projects, the board will require the projects to meet the following criteria:
(a) Enhancement or restoration projects must further the ecological functions of the farmlands;
(b) The projects, such as fencing, bridging watercourses, replanting native vegetation, replacing culverts, clearing of waterways, etc., must be less than fifty percent of the acquisition cost of the project including any in-kind contribution by any party;
(c) The projects should be based on accepted methods of achieving beneficial enhancement or restoration results; and
(d) The projects should enhance the viability of the preserved farmland to provide agricultural production while conforming to any legal requirements for habitat protection.
(12) In determining the acquisition priorities for forestland projects, the board must consider, at a minimum, the following criteria:
(a) Community support for the project;
(b) A recommendation as part of a limiting factors or critical pathways analysis, a watershed plan or habitat conservation plan, or a coordinated regionwide prioritization effort;
(c) The likelihood of conversion of the site to nontimber or more highly developed use;
(d) Consistency with a local land use plan, or a regional or statewide recreational or resource plan. The projects that assist in the implementation of local shoreline master plans updated according to RCW 90.58.080 or local comprehensive plans updated according to RCW 36.70A.130 must be highly considered in the process;
(e) Multiple benefits of the project;
(f) Project attributes, including but not limited to:
(i) Clean air and water;
(ii) Stormwater management;
(iii) Wildlife habitat; and
(iv) Potential for carbon sequestration.
(13) In allotting funds for environmental enhancement or restoration projects, the board must require the projects to meet the following criteria:
(a) Enhancement or restoration projects must further the ecological functions of the forestlands;
(b) The projects, such as fencing, bridging watercourses, replanting native vegetation, replacing culverts, etc., must be less than fifty percent of the acquisition cost of the project including any in-kind contribution by any party;
(c) The projects should be based on accepted methods of achieving beneficial enhancement or restoration results;
(d) The projects should enhance the viability of the preserved forestland to provide timber production while conforming to any legal requirements for habitat protection.
(14) Before November 1st of each even-numbered year, the board will recommend to the governor a prioritized list of all projects to be funded under this section. The governor may remove projects from the list recommended by the board and must submit this amended list in the capital budget request to the legislature. The list must include, but not be limited to, a description of each project and any particular match requirement.

NOTES:

Application2016 c 149 ss 3, 4, 5, and 10: See note following RCW 79A.15.030.
Effective dateIntent2016 c 149: See notes following RCW 79A.15.010.
IntentEffective date2007 c 241: See notes following RCW 79A.25.005.
Effective date2005 c 303 ss 1-14: See note following RCW 79A.15.010.
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