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Skagit County farmland protection program has preserved 13,500 acres

David Pierson

David Pierson sits in his living room in his home off Cook Road in August, across the street from a field of Brussels sprouts. His family’s land has attracted the interest of developers ever since Interstate 5 was constructed in the early 1960s.

Three decades ago, a grassroots movement to protect farmland in Skagit County was started.

Those involved wanted to ensure the area’s farmland — declared by the federal government in 1925 as the best in the country — was not paved over and lost to development, and that agriculture remained viable.

Brussel Sprouts

A field of Brussels sprouts grows off Cook Road north of Burlington in August. The prominent farmland west of Interstate 5 is permanently protected from future development.

Skagit County Farmland Legacy Map

Skagit County Farmland Legacy properties, shown in pink, are agricultural lands permanently protected against development.

Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland

The intersection of Interstate 5 and Cook Road showing farmland on the west side of the freeway and development on the east side.

Skagit Valley Herald archives

A Skagit Valley Herald article from Sept. 21, 1989, describes the backlash to a proposal for a agriculture-themed tourism development on 30 to 50 acres of farmland north of Burlington.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison:, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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