Skagit County farm, Ecology settle irrigation fine

(LYMAN)– A blueberry farm on Cockreham Island along the Skagit River will restore habitat on a nearby stream under a settlement agreement with the Washington Department of Ecology.

U.S. Golden Eagle Farms appealed a $16,000 penalty from Ecology in 2016 for irrigating fields without proper authorization. Now the company will spend that same amount on two nearby restoration projects along a Skagit River tributary. U.S. Golden Eagle Farms will place large woody debris for fish habitat and plant native vegetation to improve the stream bank area.

In a separate action, the company last year secured proper authorization from Ecology to irrigate its acreage.

“This restoration work, combined with coming into compliance, brings this case to a positive and productive close,” said Tom Buroker, Ecology’s Northwest Regional Director. “We are encouraged that the farm is committing to protect fish habitat and water resources.”