Thurston County is home to four federally-listed species under the Endangered Species Act. This affects County building permits. A property owner can build where these species live, but first needs a mitigation plan (also called a Habitat Conservation Plan) in order to comply with federal law. 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 on County property owners, and to provide them with regulatory certainty.
An umbrella HCP would provide:
- Mitigation options for applicants who need them.
- A consistent, year-round environmental-review process.
- A streamlined permitting process.