LETTER: Indirect costs

While I generally support farmland conservation efforts (Clallam pledges $1.5 million toward two farms, PDN, May 28), these acquisitions come at significant direct and indirect cost to the public.

The direct cost, which is visible and easily quantified, consists primarily of money raised through the Conservation Futures property tax.

The indirect cost is less visible, more difficult to quantify and therefore not widely discussed.

This indirect cost manifests itself through increased housing costs locally.

Housing requires land, a finite resource, and any time buildable land is taken out of inventory, the remaining buildable land base becomes more scarce and more expensive.

So, while many will tout the quality-of-life benefits of preserving farmland, few want to acknowledge that it exacerbates the affordable housing problem which, ironically, was identified as the Olympic Peninsula’s biggest issue in the Peninsula Poll on Page A2 of the same edition of the PDN.

Thomas L. Swanson

Port Angeles