Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

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By Pam Lewison
Washington Policy Center 

State bill proposes utilizing farmland for fish habitat


January 27, 2022

House Bill 1838 asks Washingtonians to save fish habitat at the expense of rural communities. The bill proposes an expansion of riparian mitigation areas from their current range of 50 to 100 feet from the high-water mark to between 100 and 249 feet depending upon the site.

Buffer zones of 150 feet along 1 mile of riparian zone are the equivalent of 18 acres of farmland.

Most urban areas are exempt from the rules of the bill.

If a landowner must remove more than half an acre of land from agricultural production, they must be compensated “at least equal to the amount that would be offered...

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