NEXT MEETING: January 14th at 2:30 pm at the Pomeroy Grain Growers Building.
The Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) is an optional, incentive-based approach to protecting critical areas while promoting agriculture.
The VSP is allowed under the Growth Management Act as an alternative to traditional approaches to critical areas protection, such as "no touch" buffers. Twenty eight counties have "opted in" to the VSP by nominating one or more watersheds in their county where the program would apply. Garfield County has received funding to develop a VSP work plan.
VSP Program Goals
- Promote plans to protect and enhance critical areas where agricultural activities are conducted, while maintaining and improving the long term viability of agriculture in the state of Washington and reducing the conversion of farmland to other uses.
- Leverage exisiting resources by relying upon existing work and plans in counties and local watersheds, as well as existing state and federal programs to the maximum extent practicable to achieve program goals.
- Encourage and foster a spirit of cooperation and partnership among county, tribal, environmental, and agricultural interests to better assure program success.
- Improve compliance with other laws designed to protect water quality and fish habitat.
- Rely upon voluntary stewardship practices as the primary method of protecting critical areas and not require the cessation of agricultural activities. (RCW 36.70A.700)
More information about VSP (External Link)
Pomeroy Conservation District Manager
Phone: (509) 843-5008
Palouse Conversation District Watershed Manager
Phone: (509) 552-9562