Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP)


Benton Conservation District
To participate and learn more about the VSP program, visit the Benton Conservation District's website.

What is the Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP)? 
The Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) is a non-regulatory approach to meeting the goals of the state of Washington's Growth Management Act by protecting critical areas on agricultural lands.

The VSP provides opportunities for landowners to avoid future regulation by implementing voluntary, site-specific practices that help to protect critical areas while also promoting agricultural viability. 

Who is Affected? 
Benton County landowners utilizing their property for agricultural purposes may be affected if any of the five designated critical areas are located on the property.  Read more about Critical Areas in this handout.

Benton Conservation District will assist landowners with determining if critical areas are present.

Measuring Success 
Benton County's VSP Work Group was tasked with determining measurable benchmarks to gauge success of the program.  The benchmarks are based on critical area conditions on the effective date of legislation, July 22, 2011 and are divided based upon the three main watersheds in the county: Alkali-Squilchuck, Lower Yakima, and Rock-Glade.

More information: 
  • Conservation Commission Washington State’s Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) provides an alternative approach for counties to address Growth Management requirements for agricultural activities. This negotiated program uses a watershed-based, collaborative stewardship planning process, relying on incentive-based practices that protect critical areas, promote viable agriculture, and encourage cooperation among diverse stakeholders.

  • Benton Conservation District 

    Benton Conservation District (BCD) has been designated as the lead entity for the VSP technical assistance and implementation.  BCD will provide the following services to interested landowners:

    • A site map of your property showing any critical areas that are present
    • checklist where landowners can indicate desired practices and practices that are currently being implemented
    • Technical assistance and potential cost-share funding for practice implementation

Staff Contacts

The Benton County Planning Department is no longer the point of contact for the Voluntary Stewardship Program. For program information visit the Benton Conservation District's website.


Benton County    620 Market Street    Prosser, Washington 99350
Phone: (509) 786-5710 or (509) 783-1310
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