Washington State Supreme Court decides not to review Futurewise win to protect farmland in Ferry County
On October 6, 2020, the Washington State Supreme Court denied Ferry County’s request that the court review the court of appeals decision concluding that Ferry County had not properly designated agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance. The court of appeals agreed with Futurewise and its local partner the Concerned Friends of Ferry County that Ferry County had not designated enough agricultural land to maintain the county’s agricultural industry. Ferry County had only designated 3,344 acres of private farmland out of the 788,660 acres of land in farms in 2017. Agriculture is one of Ferry County’s leading industries. Ferry County was required to designate its farmland 29 years ago but has never completed this work.
Ferry County is now required to reconsider its designation and protection farm and ranch land. Futurewise will continue to work to ensure the county conserves enough farmland to maintain its agricultural industry.
This is the second time the court of appeals has agreed with Futurewise that Ferry County has failed to designate enough farmland to protect the county agricultural industry. This is also the second time the Washington State Supreme Court has declined to review the court of appeals decision. The court of appeals is Washington’s second highest appellate court and the State Supreme Court is the highest appellate court.