One strategy for source water protection is preservation of land within the watershed. Land preservation strategies help preserve or rehabilitate natural areas for the benefit of protecting water quality. Drinking water from watersheds with protected land can require less treatment and therefore have less treatment cost than water from unprotected watersheds. As part of an integrated approach, land presevation is an important first step in protecting Lake Whatcom, our drinking water source.
Often land preservation strategies focus on public ownership of watershed lands. In a large, multi-use watershed, like the Lake Whatcom watershed, the high land values and number of property owners create limitations for land acquisition. Therefore, it is important to investigate a variety of options for land preservation including land acquisition, conservation easements, transferable development rights, purchase of development rights, lot consolidation, and other incentive programs.
The buttons to the right provide links to recent land preservation information and activities.