What is VEGBAC?
The Vegetated Buffer Areas for Conservation Program (VEGBAC) provides incentives for rural landowners within the Tualatin River Watershed to plant native trees and shrubs in streamside buffer areas. The District works with Clean Water Services, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and The Freshwater Trust to provide shade to streams and cool water temperatures. VEGBAC offers a restoration alternative to landowners who either do not qualify for the USDA’s Enhanced Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (ECREP) or prefer more flexibility over higher benefits.
How long is the commitment?
There are many options to provide flexibility. Landowners can choose a 10, 15 or 30 year contract. In 2014, we also added the option for a Stewardship Agreement for 15 and 30 year contracts, a longer term commitment connected directly to the land. A lump-sum cash bonus is available for enrolling in this stewardship option, as well as reduced landowner contributions.
Who pays for and conducts the work?
The District covers the majority of project costs with funding from our local partner, Clean Water Services. No federal funding is used to support this program. The landowner shares in the project cost for the first 5 years.
Who is eligible?
VEGBAC is available to any landowner within the Tualatin River Watershed whose property meets all of the following criteria:
- Located outside the Urban Growth Boundary. (Some projects are accepted within the UGB where there is agricultural land use; for details, please contact us.)
- Borders at least 300 feet of the Tualatin River or a priority perennial stream that enters the Tualatin River above the City of Durham. Adjacent landowners are allowed to add their properties together to reach the 300-foot minimum stream border.
- Stream lacks sufficient native vegetation to create an effective riparian buffer. The effectiveness of the existing buffer will be determined by the TSWCD during an initial inspection of the property.
- The area must be capable of supporting native vegetation without changes to the slope, soil, hydrology, or other physical characteristics.
- Landowner is not required by laws to actively restore the area that will be enrolled in the program.
What other incentives are available?
- Optional in-stream water rights leases
- Cumulative Impact Bonus for qualifying projects
How do I get started?
Interested landowners should contact the District to learn more about the enrollment process by filling out the Contact Us form below or calling 503-334-2288 x108.