Agricultural Resource Lands Analysis: Pierce County

Author: Tyler Vick Published: April 28, 2016

As part of a multi-disciplinary team, we are setting out to evaluate Pierce County’s existing land use policy for designating agricultural resource lands (ARL). This evaluation process will also include our recommendations for alternative approaches to better protect and support the agricultural sector.


Pierce County is home to some of the most fertile farmland in the Pacific Northwest, but has the highest rate of farmland loss in the Puget Sound Region. The process of protecting designated farmland is hotly contested and past designations have left lingering questions.


The team will start out by evaluating the current land use policy and model scenarios demonstrating the effects of current criteria. We’ll aim to provide answers to questions such as:

  • Is the county using appropriate criteria for designating ARL?
  • How will recommendations fiscally impact businesses and individuals in effected districts?

We’ll take a comprehensive look at the changes that have occurred in Pierce County over the past ten years. Reviewing existing reports and data sets will help us keep the big picture in mind as we plan for the future.


The FLO team will be providing advanced GIS analysis to support all project components and aiding in the community outreach and communication process. We’ll use web-based map applications to aid the project team’s work and create data visualizations that condense information into a clear and easily understood picture for Pierce County and the public.