VSP is a collaborative process that helps Washington communities ensure healthy landscapes and strong farms for the future. Through VSP, counties work with local residents to develop a plan to manage growth, protect critical areas, and maintain viable agriculture.
Managing population growth and development
• Our state’s Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW) requires all counties to develop plans for managing population growth and development.
• The plans must identify and protect critical areas (see left sidebar), including critical areas on agricultural lands.
• Plans also preserve farmland by preventing urban growth from crowding out agriculture.
Supporting agriculture and natural resources.. Voluntary > Regulatory
• Prior to 2011, the main tool for counties to ensure protection of critical areas on agricultural land was regulation.
• Regulation of agricultural landowners can threaten farm viability and lead to legal battles.
• VSP was created in 2011 to give counties the option to use locally driven watershed plans and voluntary, incentive-based tools to protect critical areas. Washington State Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP)
The five critical areas that Pend Oreille County must protect:
2. Frequently flooded areas
3. Critical aquifer recharge areas
4. Geologically hazardous areas
5. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas (emphasis on anadromous fish)
VSP Updates & Resources
NEW* Critical Areas Mapping Tool
Unsure if you have critical areas on your land? Use our new map tool and find out!
Use the search in the top left corner bar to enter your property address.
Use the critical area "Layer List," to urn specific critical area layers on and off. Note which critical areas are on or near your property.
Additional tools that can be used to change the map view to satellite imagery, measure a distance, or print a section of the map. Contact us if you get stuck!