36.70A.715  <<  36.70A.720 >>   36.70A.725

RCW 36.70A.720

Watershed group's duties—Work plan—Conditional priority funding.

(1) A watershed group designated by a county under RCW 36.70A.715 must develop a work plan to protect critical areas while maintaining the viability of agriculture in the watershed. The work plan must include goals and benchmarks for the protection and enhancement of critical areas. In developing and implementing the work plan, the watershed group must:
(a) Review and incorporate applicable water quality, watershed management, farmland protection, and species recovery data and plans;
(b) Seek input from tribes, agencies, and stakeholders;
(c) Develop goals for participation by agricultural operators conducting commercial and noncommercial agricultural activities in the watershed necessary to meet the protection and enhancement benchmarks of the work plan;
(d) Ensure outreach and technical assistance is provided to agricultural operators in the watershed;
(e) Create measurable benchmarks that, within ten years after the receipt of funding, are designed to result in (i) the protection of critical area functions and values and (ii) the enhancement of critical area functions and values through voluntary, incentive-based measures;
(f) Designate the entity or entities that will provide technical assistance;
(g) Work with the entity providing technical assistance to ensure that individual stewardship plans contribute to the goals and benchmarks of the work plan;
(h) Incorporate into the work plan any existing development regulations relied upon to achieve the goals and benchmarks for protection;
(i) Establish baseline monitoring for: (i) Participation activities and implementation of the voluntary stewardship plans and projects; (ii) stewardship activities; and (iii) the effects on critical areas and agriculture relevant to the protection and enhancement benchmarks developed for the watershed;
(j) Conduct periodic evaluations, institute adaptive management, and provide a written report of the status of plans and accomplishments to the county and to the commission within sixty days after the end of each biennium;
(k) Assist state agencies in their monitoring programs; and
(l) Satisfy any other reporting requirements of the program.
(2)(a) The watershed group shall develop and submit the work plan to the director for approval as provided in RCW 36.70A.725.
(b)(i) Not later than five years after the receipt of funding for a participating watershed, the watershed group must report to the director and the county on whether it has met the work plan's protection and enhancement goals and benchmarks.
(ii) If the watershed group determines the protection goals and benchmarks have been met, and the director concurs under RCW 36.70A.730, the watershed group shall continue to implement the work plan.
(iii) If the watershed group determines the protection goals and benchmarks have not been met, it must propose and submit to the director an adaptive management plan to achieve the goals and benchmarks that were not met. If the director does not approve the adaptive management plan under RCW 36.70A.730, the watershed is subject to RCW 36.70A.735.
(iv) If the watershed group determines the enhancement goals and benchmarks have not been met, the watershed group must determine what additional voluntary actions are needed to meet the benchmarks, identify the funding necessary to implement these actions, and implement these actions when funding is provided.
(c)(i) Not later than ten years after receipt of funding for a participating watershed, and every five years thereafter, the watershed group must report to the director and the county on whether it has met the protection and enhancement goals and benchmarks of the work plan.
(ii) If the watershed group determines the protection goals and benchmarks have been met, and the director concurs under RCW 36.70A.730, the watershed group shall continue to implement the work plan.
(iii) If the watershed group determines the protection goals and benchmarks have not been met, the watershed is subject to RCW 36.70A.735.
(iv) If the watershed group determines the enhancement goals and benchmarks have not been met, the watershed group must determine what additional voluntary actions are needed to meet the benchmarks, identify the funding necessary to implement these actions, and implement these actions when funding is provided.
(3) Following approval of a work plan, a county or watershed group may request a state or federal agency to focus existing enforcement authority in that participating watershed, if the action will facilitate progress toward achieving work plan protection goals and benchmarks.
(4) The commission may provide priority funding to any watershed designated under the provisions of RCW 36.70A.705(2)(g). The director, in consultation with the statewide advisory committee, shall work with the watershed group to develop an accelerated implementation schedule for watersheds that receive priority funding.
(5) Commercial and noncommercial agricultural operators participating in the program are eligible to receive funding and assistance under watershed programs.
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