Purpose of the HCP
The County's Habitat Conservation Plan is a mitigation plan to replace the habitat lost to the building and development it permits. The County made an HCP so that its permit applicants won't have to make their own with the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It will make permitting faster and easier for the community. If approved, the HCP will lead to a federal permit (Incidental Take Permit) which will allow the County to issue permits in areas mapped as habitat for federally Endangered Species, while also conserving habitat in a way that will ensure the survival of the listed species.
Term of HCP & Acreage Covered
Over the next 30 years, the County's HCP will mitigate for up to 9,500 acres of development in unincorporated Thurston County , by creating a conservation land system to preserve about 3,500 acres for the HCP-covered species.
HCP Covered Species
County has proposed to cover these species/sub-species which are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
- Mazama pocket gopher & subspecies (Olympia, Tenino, Yelm gophers)
- Oregon spotted frog
- Taylors checkerspot butterfly
- Oregon vesper sparrow (USFWS may list OVS under the ESA)
The County's HCP/Federal Permit covereage extends to unincorporated areas of Thurston County which includes the rural areas of Thurston County, and the Urban Growth Areas of Olympia, Lacey & Tumwater which are under County permit jurisdiction. It does not include the cities of Lacey, Olympia or Tumwater, Tenino, Yelm or Bucoda.