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Thurston County, Washington

Community Planning and Economic Development

Action: An activity or program of any kind authorized, funded, or carried out, in whole or in part, by a federal agency in the United States.

Action area: All areas to be affected directly or indirectly by the federal action and not merely the immediate area involved.

Adaptive management: A cyclical process whereby managers treat actions as experiments from which they improve management actions.

Buffer: Distance outside the footprint that defines the area indirectly impacted by an activity.

Candidate species: Candidate species are plants and animals for which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has sufficient information on their biological status and threats to propose them as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but for which development of a proposed listing regulation is precluded by other higher priority listing activities.

Community: A group of interacting plants and animals inhabiting a particular area.

Compliance monitoring: An evaluation of whether the process did what it said it would accomplish.

Conservation: As defined by Section 3 of the ESA, to use and the use of all methods and procedures necessary to bring any endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided are no longer necessary. Such methods and procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated with scientific resource management such as research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live trapping, and transplantation, and in the extraordinary case where population pressures within a given ecosystem cannot be otherwise relieved, regulated taking.

Conservation action/measure: A specific conservation tool employed in a specific location. May include, but is not limited to, habitat acquisition and habitat restoration.

Consultation: The process required of a federal agency under Section 7 of the ESA when any activity authorized, carried out, or conducted by that agency may affect a listed species or designated critical habitat. Consultation is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (or National Marine Fisheries Service) and may be formal or informal.

Covered Activity: These are activities that are included in the HCP and covered for incidental take by the incidental take permit.

Covered Species: These are species that are included in the HCP and covered for incidental take by the incidental take permit.

Credits: Quantified, verified, and tradable units of environmental benefit from conservation or restoration action.

Critical Areas Ordinance: Is a set of regulations that govern how land is developed in environmentally sensitive areas and in areas where development would pose a threat to humans or wildlife. Critical areas include important fish and wildlife habitat areas (prairies, rivers, streams); wetlands; aquifer recharge areas; frequently flooded areas; and geologically hazardous areas. The state Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW) requires protection of these areas.

Critical habitat: Specific areas within the geographic area occupied by the species on which are found those physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the species and which may require special management considerations or protection.

Debits: Quantified, verified, and tradable units of environmental impact, calculated as the difference between the functional scores of the pre-project and anticipated post-project conditions.

Delist: To remove a plant or animal species from the list of endangered or threatened species.

Ecology: The study of the inter-relationship among organisms and between organisms and between all aspects, living and nonliving, of their environment.

Ecoregion: A relatively large land and water area containing geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities, with approximate boundaries. These communities share a large majority of their species, dynamics, and environmental conditions, and function together effectively as a conservation unit at the continental and global scales.

Ecosystem: A discrete unit that consists of living and nonliving parts, interacting to form a stable system.

Effectiveness Monitoring: Monitoring to determine whether the restoration or enhancement techniques are meeting the management objective.

Endangered species: Those species threatened with extinction throughout all, or a significant portion, of their range. Species can be listed as endangered or threatened for a number of reasons, including disease or predation. Natural or human factors affecting chances for survival: over utilization for commercial, scientific, or recreational purposes, or current or threatened destruction of habitat or range.

Federal Register: The official daily publication for actions taken by the Federal government, such as rules, proposed rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and/organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential documents.

Graminoids: Grasses, sedges, and rushes.

Habitat: The living place of a species or community characterized by its physical or biotic properties.

Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP): HCPs are planning documents required as part of an application for an incidental take permit. They describe the anticipated effects of the proposed taking; how those impacts will be minimized, or mitigated; and how the HCP is to be funded. HCPs can apply to both listed and nonlisted species, including those that are candidates or have been proposed for listing.

Harass: To intentionally or negligently, through act or omission, create the likelihood of injury to wildlife by annoying it to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavior patterns such as breeding, feeding, and sheltering.

Harm: To perform an act that kills or injures wildlife; may include significant modification of habitat or degradation when it kills or injures wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns including breeding, feeding, or sheltering.

Historic range: The geographic area where a species was known to or believed to occur within historic time.

Host plant: A particular plant species required of butterflies during egg laying and for food during the larvae and pupae life stage.

Impacts: Impacts may be negative or positive. Negative impacts are ecological stresses to a species and the source of that stress. Positive impacts are impacts whose net effect is beneficial to the species, and may include such activities as mowing or burning.

Incidental take: Take that results from, but is not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity.

Incidental take permit: A Permit issued under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA to a non-federal party undertaking an otherwise lawful project that might result in the take of a threatened or endangered species. An application for an incidental take Permit is subject to certain requirements, including preparation of habitat conservation plan.

Indirect effect: An effect caused by a proposed action taking place later in time than the action, but is still reasonably certain to occur (Section 7 of ESA).

Listed species: A species, subspecies, or distinct population segment that has been added to the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants.

Mitigation: The offset of an environmental impact with a compensatory environmental benefit, typically generated through ecological protection, restoration, or enhancement and verified through a crediting program.

Monitoring: Repeated measurements carried out in a consistent manner so that observations are comparable over time.

Native species: Those species present in part or all of a specified range without direct or indirect human intervention, growing within their native range and natural dispersal potential.

Nectar Plant: A particular plant species required of adult butterflies for food/energy. Non-native species: Those species present in a specified region only as a direct or indirect result of human activity.

Participation Agreement: This is a document issued by Thurston County that enrolls a landowner into the HCP for purposes of obtaining coverage under the county’s incidental take permit.

Persons: Includes individuals, corporations, partnerships, limited liability corporations, limited liability partnerships.

Petition: A formal request from an interested individual or organization to list, reclassify, or delist a species, or to revise critical habitat for a listed species.

Prairie Habitat Assessment Methodology: A tool to help standardize a method for mitigating impacts to prairie ecosystems through Thurston County’s Critical Areas Ordinance.

Population: A group of individuals of a species living in certain areas maintaining some degree of reproductive isolation.

Potential Occupancy: A parameter that ranges from zero to one that models the likelihood for occupation of a habitat type by a target prairie-associated species.

Range: The geographic area a species is known to or believed to occupy.

Recovery: A reduction of the risk of extinction to the point that, based upon best available science, it is reasonably sure that the species will remain secure into the foreseeable future.

Recovery plan: A document drafted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service serving as a guide for activities to be undertaken by federal, state, or private entities in helping to recover and conserve endangered and threatened species.

Secured: Habitat of local populations are (1) owned or managed by a government agency or private conservation organization identifying maintenance of the species and its habitat as the primary management objective for the site, or (2) private land is protected by a long term or permanent conservation easement committing the landowner to conservation of the species.

Species: A group of organisms resembling one another, and includes subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate, fish, or wildlife that interbreeds when mature.

Species of Concern: An informal term referring to a species that may need conservation action due to declining population sizes. Similar terms include “species at risk” and “imperiled species”. Such species receive no legal protection, nor is there any guarantee that the species will be listed in the future.

Subspecies: A taxonomic rank below species, usually recognizing individuals with certain heritable characteristics distinct from other subspecies of a species.

Take: To harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect or attempt to engage in such conduct; may include significant habitat modification or degradation if it kills or injures wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns including breeding, feeding, and sheltering.

Terms and conditions: Required actions described in an incidental take permit under section 10 or Incidental Take Statement intended to implement the Reasonable and Prudent Measures under section 7.

Threatened species: A species that is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.

Viable: A viable population has a sufficient number of individuals, reproduction by those individuals, and habitat conditions to persist over time.

Watershed: An area of land draining to a common point.