In 2010, the Sustainable Lands Strategy (SLS) was established to bring fish, farm, and flood management advocates together to work on solutions to pressing issues in Snohomish County. Primarily focused on protecting productive lands, improving fish habitat, and mitigating potential damages from flooding, the Sustainable Lands Strategy is looking for “win-win” solutions that benefit a diverse group of stakeholders.

Benefit-cost analysis can be used to tie together various stakeholder interests and perspectives in a single comprehensive analysis. Snohomish County and the SLS stakeholders are currently considering several courses of action that address floodplain management in the Lower Skykomish reach. Earth Economics has been asked to provide a holistic benefit-cost analysis framework that incorporates benefits and costs associated with economic, environmental, and social impacts to be used as a decision support tool. A holistic benefit-cost analysis is key to advancing the SLS goals of safeguarding the agricultural sector, restoring and protecting salmon habitat, and reducing flood damage.