Background

In the spring of 2007, the state legislature adopted Substitute Senate Bill 5248 which included the following provisions:
  • Required the Ruckelshaus Center to look into the conflicts between critical areas regulations and agricultural uses. The Ruckelshaus Center was tasked to conduct a fact finding mission, bring together stakeholders on this issue for discussion of the issues, and develop a recommendation to the legislature.
  • Enacted a moratorium on new critical areas regulations on agricultural uses defined in the bill between May 1, 2007 and June 30, 2010.  In 2010, the moratorium was extended until June 30, 2011 so the work could be completed.
In the spring of 2011, the state legislature enacted Engrossed Substitute Bill (ESHB) 1886 which enacted the recommendations of the Ruckelshaus process. This bill amended the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A) to allow options for protecting critical areas:
  • Permits the County to use a voluntary stewardship program in conjunction with stakeholders in lieu of enacting further critical areas regulations in regards to agricultural uses. At the state level, the voluntary stewardship program is to be administered by the Washington Conservation Commission.
  • Continue under existing law and update critical areas regulations for agricultural uses by July 22, 2013.
  • Limit the voluntary stewardship program to certain watersheds in the county, and update the critical area regulations for other watersheds.
A decision on whether to opt-in to the voluntary stewardship program is due by January 22, 2012. The County must opt-in by ordinance. The ordinance needs to indicate the county's participation in the program, identify watersheds/areas that will participate in the program, and nominate watersheds for consideration by the Washington Conservation Commission as state priority watersheds.

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Phone (509) 427-3900, E-mail: permitcenter@co.skamania.wa.us
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Stevenson, WA 98648

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Shoreline Master Program

Draft Shoreline Master Program Inventory and Characterization Report