Rescind Preliminary Decision to Sell Snoqualmie Valley 'Tall Chief' Farmland to a Confinement Dairy Company Using GMOs, Roundup, and Synthetic Fertilizers.
This petition had 5,840 supporters
King County, Washington is about to pass an Ordinance (2015-0423) that would sell, at a loss, publicly owned prime farmland, the ‘Jewel of the Snoqualmie Valley’, called the Tall Chief property, to the largest land owner in the Valley, Keller Dairy, a confinement dairy farm that intends to grow Roundup-Ready GMO corn using glyphosate and synthetic fertilizers to provide feed for dairy cows.
Known as the ‘Jewel of the Snoqualmie Valley’, King County’s 190 acre “Tall Chief” Property is a unique, extremely valuable tract of farm land with rich alluvial soils and prime upland acreage with sites for processing and storage facilities.
Last year, King County issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find a suitable owner or lessee for the property that it had recently purchased for $4,500,000 to prevent construction of 16 mini-mansions which would have destroyed this farmland forever. The County’s stated policy centered on returning this previous golf course into a sustainable farming operation using sound agricultural soil and water conservation practices while strengthening the local food economy and production.
Despite an excellent proposal from the highly respected thirty-eight year old non-profit “Seattle Tilth”, the County’s Natural Resources and Parks Department decided to sell Tall Chief to one of the largest landowners in the Snoqualmie Valley.
We support the County’s policies and requirements that were set forth in its RFP and were shocked when those were apparently ignored. Seattle Tilth already runs a myriad of programs which mirror the RFP including land for small and start up farmers, incubator training program, wash and pack facilities, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) marketing, food distribution hub, urban farming etc.
We are not discounting the importance of milk, but Seattle Tilth’s proposal to add 75 acres of local, organic vegetable production in the County would mean a huge increase in high quality, local, responsibly grown food at the doorstep of nearly four million residents. This is in sharp contrast to the dairy proposal that could jeopardize thriving nearby downriver organic farms, while providing little net increase in agricultural production.
Please support our petition to the King County Council asking it to stop this ill-advised sale and send back the proposal for a more thoughtful consideration with local participation and guidance from the County’s own stated policies.
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