The Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) is a plan that was elected to be used throughout Douglas County as an alternative to regulatory enforcement under Washington State's Growth Management Act (GMA). Douglas County VSP aims to preserve local critical areas while ensuring the health of farmland. Engaging landowners outside of city limits through voluntary, incentive-based stewardship practices, the hope is that producers will work together to meet the goals of this program to avoid regulatory enforcement. Douglas County is 1 of 27 counties across Washington who use this incentive-based program to engage local landowners and producers in ensuring the ecological health and agricultural viability of their lands.
Critical areas are defined as fragile and/or hazardous natural resources that coincide where agricultural activity is conducted.
Douglas County's working group designates benchmarks and goals to reach to help protect and enhance our county's critical areas. Learn more about those benchmarks and goals via the link below.
Washington's Growth Management Act (GMA) requires counties to develop and follow plans to preserve local critical areas and farmlands. With agriculture being Douglas County's main economic entity it's important to ensure agricultural viability is maintained while also ensuring critical areas are protected and enhanced.