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Thurston County, Washington

Community Planning and Economic Development

Putting the Pieces Together

Four connected puzzle pieces with different conservation actions in each: "Minimization of Impacts", "Protect, Enhance, and Maintain New Reserves", "Secure and Maintain Working Land Easements", "Enhance and Maintain Existing Preserves".

If approved by federal regulators, the County's HCP will take a landscape approach to conservation in an effort to ensure the survival of the covered species. The HCP will coordinate a large-scale reserve system to replace the current piecemeal mitigation process. This Conservation Land System will create mitigation credits to offset permitted development impacts. 

Acres of Protection

This system may preserve and restore up to 3,500 acres to provide for the conservation of the Mazama pocket gopher, Oregon spotted frog, Oregon vesper sparrow, and Taylors checkerspot butterfly, animals covered by the County's HCP.  The plan is to acquire and include large tracts of contiguous conserved properties, including working agricultural lands. Priority will be given to land already occupied by the covered species.

Landscape Approach, Ecologically Valuable

The HCP-covered species share a similar prairie habitat, as well as provide habitat for other at-risk species.  The conservation of these lands and management practices will not only account for multiple HCP-covered species, but also provide managed habitat for species that too rely on prairie habitat. The reserve system and associated conservation measures will bring more ecological benefits to these HCP and other species with similar habitat needs, as well as complementing the species recovery efforts of federal and state wildlife agencies. 

Managed to Biologically-Sound, Measurable Standards

Table showing desired future prairie conditions.


Prior to release as mitigation credits, all HCP conservation land types will meet performance standards in the HCP (See HCP pps 118 & 120, tables 7.1 and 7.2), and will include:

  • Baseline report.
  • Site management plans.
  • Legal permanent protection.
  • Long term stewardship fund (endowment).

Conservation Land System Map

Map of HCP Conservation Land System and priority habitat.