Community farm threatened by eminent domain and restoration project

Community farm threatened by eminent domain and restoration project
COQUILLE, Ore.-- Some farmers near Coquille are worried a project to protect wetlands will destory their farmland.

"Economically was the reason we started this because my husband was laid off in 2009," Sarah Crawford, community farmer, said. "We were making $17 an hour and that went away, and we didn't know what we were going to do."

Crawford said her family of six depends on her plot of land at a Coquille community farm to feed her family, but all of that may change because of a government project being proposed in the area.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service intends to flood China Creek near the farm to preserve wetlands already protected in the Bandon Marsh.

Crawford said excess water near the farm would kill the crop her family so desperately needs.

"We are concerned that any amount of water, or any change to our drainage, would be a detriment to how much food we can produce, because you can't produce food with wet soil all summer," Crawford said.

Crawford, along with several other community gardeners, have spent the past three years turning a once vacant piece of land into a garden that feeds dozens of people.

"If they add even a foot of water, it would make it very difficult for us to operate out here," said Don Luce, community farmer.

The farmers are asking the Coos County Commissioners and other state agencies that have endorsed the project to reconsider.