If a landowner wants to formalize a commitment to preserving healthy ecosystem features plus get tax credits for doing so, then completion of an Island County Rural Stewardship Plan is the way to do that.

This type of plan is integrated with Low Impact Development (LID) techniques and the Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS). Eco-friendly building restrictions can be placed on title to the property, and the landowner gains tax cuts due to the public benefits of increased habitat, environment, water quality, and such.

I have investigated the Rural Stewardship Plan quite a bit, and will next be investigating the Open Space Timber program to see what matches best for my plans. Both seem to be good matches in their own way. Since my plans generally exceed the intent of these sorts of programs, I will likely base my decisions on a combination of program flexibility and total tax savings.

  • November 2008