Thurston County is home to four federally-listed species under the Endangered Species Act. This affects County building permits. A property owner can build in protected areas, but by federal law needs a mitigation plan (or Habitat Conservation Plan) first. The County is voluntarily developing a 30 year mitigation plan to cover its permit applicants in response to this federal listing.
The HCP describes how covered species will be protected, and
defines a reserve network to help ensure the long term survival of the species . This effort is to reduce and streamline the regulatory burden and provide regulatory certainty in Thurston County.
An umbrella HCP would provide:
- Mitigation options for applicants who need them.
- A consistent, year-round environmental-review process.
- Streamline permitting process.