Year-Round Permitting & Expert Conservation
The Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is the County’s response to the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of several animals in Thurston County. The ESA requires building permit applicants to get federal permits in addition to County permits if their project impacts listed species. The HCP is how the county government will locally manage HCP-species-related permitting and conservation so local applicants won’t need federal permits. The HCP received federal approval in July 2022, and is expected to be implemented in 2023.
HCP Status Update: The County Plan Has Been Approved.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service approved the County’s Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) in July 2022. Beginning in 2023, developers will no longer need to get separate federal and county permits for projects that impact Mazama pocket gophers, and other Endangered Species Act-protected animals covered by the HCP. The county will also begin setting up professionally managed habitat sites. The Board of County Commissioners okayed 2022 Gopher Inspections, for the last year. See the news release for more about federal plan approval. Visit the online HCP Open House to learn what the HCP means for our community.