Voluntary Stewardship Program

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The Voluntary Stewardship Program is an alternative approach for counties in Washington State to protect and enhance environmentally critical areas while maintaining and improving the long-term viability of local agriculture. Instead of enacting further critical areas regulation for agricultural activities, the VSP allows a technical assistance provider to work with agricultural operators to develop voluntary, site-specific stewardship plans.

The VSP integrates programs that already exist in the county, including Open Space Tax ProgramTransfer and Purchase of Development Rights, and Agritourism.

The success of this program depends on the voluntary participation of our community and the willingness to incorporate conservation measures into their land management practices.

Read stories from local farmers on this interactive map.


Get Involved

To get started on your VSP Individual Stewardship Plan, contact the technical service provider, Thurston Conservation District.

The benefits:

Knowledge: Gain a better understanding of the critical areas on your land and how to work with them to improve operational efficiencies, see higher yields, and increase production.
Flexible: Allows farmers and ranchers to manage in a way that meets their needs.
Results-oriented: Focuses on results rather than regulations. Proactively be a good steward of your land for generations to come.
Protection: Protect your farm from violations and regulation.
Opportunities: Participation in the VSP potentially opens individual landowners up to other cost share opportunities.
Completely voluntary: A successful Voluntary Stewardship Program supports a voluntary approach to land stewardship for all Thurston County residents. Success is dependent upon landowner participation.