West Davis Corridor Ag. Impact Tour
Contact: Larry Lewis
Davis County farmers tell transportation officials why a proposed highway
through Davis and Weber Counties should not be built on farmland.
West Davis Corridor Messages
Commissioner Blackham Talking Points
We are here to offer important information that may not have been included in the West Davis Corridor Study.
Farmland located in an Agricultural Protection Area (APA) are protected by State law. (Utah Code, Title 17, chapter 41)
To build a highway through APA’s, there must be no reasonable alternative.
From an agricultural perspective, a corridor already exists. For decades cities, counties and even UDOT have taken steps to make Bluff Road THE corridor for future transportation needs. Municipal agreements are in place, the route is part of city and county master plans and UDOT has already made land purchases for this route.
There is supporting evidence that some of the wetlands data is flawed and skewed. Several areas have mistakenly been designated wetlands.
Wetlands can be mitigated, Ag. land cannot.
With slight adjustments to the original Bluff Route, and mitigations around some legitimate wetlands, the corridor can be kept from encroaching on important farmland.
Routes that consider farmland to be “expendable” fail to recognize the economic, environmental and social importance of the operation they will disrupt or destroy.
- Consumer support for locally-grown foods and open space has increased substantially over the past decade.
- Local agriculture requires less fuel to transport food products.
Davis and Weber County farms generate more than $73 million to the state’s economy and offer hundreds of jobs for residents.
A significant percentage of Utah wildlife rely on farmland to sustain them during winter and other critical times of their life cycle. Farmland interfaces with wetlands producing a positive symbiotic relationship.
Agriculture’s critical mass
Farms are not stand-alone businesses. There is a symbiotic relationship with other local businesses. When farms go away, other non-farm businesses soon follow.
Educational value of farms
Some farms serve as schoolrooms, educating children/consumers about their food system. Local schools regularly visit farms. BIF reports 14,000 visitors/customers per year.
An additional 15-20 farms to join list in 2011.
Posted April 20, 2011