Washington state lawmakers in both the Senate and the House will be holding executive sessions and recommending whether or not to pass two important bills, SB 5353 and HB 1421, that consider re-opening enrollment and adding funding to the Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP).
We are asking you to contact our lawmakers today to tell them to support these bills. We’ve made it easy with our one-click tool in this post. Simply enter your information in the box here, and then “send email,” to let them know you want them to support the bill. With one click, all of our local state representatives, bill sponsors, and appropriate committees will receive your email.
Why is the Voluntary Stewardship Program important?
The VSP is the only place in the GMA that specifically calls out protecting farmland. The VSP is specifically created for the purpose of “maintaining and improving the long-term viability of agriculture in the state of Washington and reducing the conversion of farmland to other uses.”
Washington State’s Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) was created in 2011 to provide an alternative approach for counties to address Growth Management requirements for agricultural activities.
How it Works
The Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) administers funding for counties to implement the program. Counties then designate a work group to develop a watershed-scale plan that will:
- Identify critical resource concerns.
- Identify agricultural activities in the critical areas.
- Create a plan for targeted outreach to assist landowners in developing farm plans that address agricultural impacts to critical areas on their property.
- Identify and maintain economically viable agriculture while protecting and restoring critical areas