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Garfield County Voluntary Stewardship Program

Stewardship Program Sign-Up

Garfield County received funding from the Washington State Conservation Commission to complete a plan to protect and/or restore critical areas within private lands while maintaining the viability of agriculture.  The Pomeroy Conservation District (CD) was selected to lead this planning process and volunteers contacted Garfield County.  8 local volunteers worked to develop the Work Plan over 18 months with support from a statewide technical panel and local biologists.  For more information on Garfield County VSP go to www.garfieldcountyvsp.com  

The Garfield County Work Plan was approved June 20, 2018.  The Work Plan identified critical areas within Garfield County (wetlands, frequently flooded areas, fish and wildlife habitat, critical aquifer recharge areas and geologically hazardous areas – high water erosion potential) on private lands.  The Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) takes the place of the Growth Management Act in agricultural areas with stewardship strategies for maintaining or improving critical areas.  

We are currently in the Implementation phase of VSP and have identified stewardship strategies that will help protect and/or restore critical areas.  The Work Group has funding available until June of 2019.  The stewardship strategies that are identified in the Work Plan and can be completed by June of 2019 are listed below:

  • Precision Ag – guidance system, auto steer, auto boom, mapping, imagery, soil samples
  • Residue Mowing – with no burning or baling, residue remains on field
  • Grazing Management – cross-fence, riparian fence, water developments, pipeline
  • Removing Terraces – system increases field efficiency, cannot be conventionally farmed
  • Conservation Buffers – alfalfa, grass, cover crops along water way or county road
  • Noxious Weed Control on Rangelands – in cooperation with County Weed Board

Interested landowners need to contact the Pomeroy CD or visit the VSP website to get more information and sign a cost-share application.  Applications are due no later than noon on January 14, 2019.  Cost-share applications will be reviewed by the Garfield County VSP Work Group and successful applicants will be funded, if an applicant is not funded there are additional funding sources that can be applied for in the future. If there is funding for VSP after July 1, 2019 there will be additional sign-ups with available funding.