The Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) offers counties and agricultural landowners farm-friendly options for protecting fragile and/or hazardous natural resources — referred to as “critical areas” — in places where agricultural activity is conducted. Rather than leading with regulations and enforcement, counties enrolled in VSP use financial incentives to voluntarily engage agricultural landowners with actions that protect critical areas. Critical areas include fish and wildlife habitats, wetlands, frequently flooded areas, aquifer recharge areas, and geologically hazardous areas.
If you live in one of the 27 counties in Washington State that are enrolled in VSP, there may be opportunities to receive on-site, expert assistance with developing a Stewardship Plan for your property and paying for new or adjusted land management practices that protect critical areas. There also maybe opportunities to get involved with your county’s VSP plan and progress.