Farmers and conservationists in a rare alliance

Here’s another interesting reconciliation story that was in the NYT over the winter break:

Farmers and Conservationists Form a Rare Alliance

Correction Appended

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The standoff here between farmers and environmentalists was familiar in the modern West.

With salmon and wildlife dwindling in the Skagit River Delta, some environmentalists had argued since the 1980s that local farms should be turned back into wetlands. Farmers here feared that preachy outsiders would strip them of their land and heritage.

This year, though, the standoff ended — at least for three longtime farmers in this fertile valley, who began collaborating with their former enemies to preserve wildlife and their livelihoods.

The Nature Conservancy, which usually buys land to shield it from development, is renting land from the three farmers on behalf of migrating Western sandpipers, black-bellied plovers, dunlins, marbled godwits and other shorebirds.

Go read the whole article, and come back here / to class to talk about it. One caveat is that the NYT requires registration to view many of these articles, so you’ll have to register, or try to access it through the Madden library.

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