Meetings scheduled on proposed farmers’ districts in Whatcom

The public and affected farmers are invited to two meetings to gather information and comment on proposed watershed improvement, or irrigation, districts in Whatcom County. The first meeting is 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Mt. Baker Rotary Building, 1751 Front St.

Organizers say the new districts could find ways to provide a legitimate water supply to farmers who are irrigating in excess of their water rights. Lummi Nation and Nooksack Indian Tribe have asked the federal courts to set minimum flows for fish-bearing streams. The rest of the available water would be for farmers, municipalities, industries and rural residents.

Property owners within the boundaries of the four proposed irrigation districts who have at least 41/2 acres are scheduled to vote in October on whether to form the districts, and to elect board members.

If a district is approved, property owners would pay an assessment to support its activities, in an amount to be determined by the board.

The second informational meeting will be held Sept. 30. An opportunity to comment on the proposed districts also will be given at a public hearing of the Whatcom County Council, on Sept. 16.

For more information go to wfcoop.com/ag-district-coalition.