With invaluable help from Sustainable Obtainable Solutions, forester Ted Hensold and the Conservation District's Doug Phelps (who is also a Working Group member), the Spokane Farmland Preservation Working Group now has a functional GIS map that we can use in our farmland preservation work. It costs the Working Group $100 per year to maintain the license for the mapping software. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Working group to help with this expense.
Here are some views of the map just to show some of its capability. These depict the locations, in blue, of potential agricultural soils of different categories in Spokane County. The term 'potential' is used because whereas a soil type can be agricultural soil, there are qualifications that are not taken into account in these depictions such as slope, how often the land floods, etc. However, if the Working Group wants to look at a piece of land that is, say, threatened with development, we can use the map to zoom in and assess the slope based on the topographical data that the map also contains. On-site assessments will also be valuable.
As an example of what the map looks like if we examine a particular parcel up close, here's what the Vinegar Flats farm looks like:
The Working Group can now monitor recent construction permit application filings to assess if there are any proposed projects where ag land is threatened.