OLYMPIA – On Friday, October 16, 2020, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published in the federal record a Notice of Intent (NOI) to begin the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of the Thurston County Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). By US Department of Interior Secretarial order, this federal review is required to be completed within 365 days.
This action by USFWS is a major milestone in the process Thurston County has engaged in with the federal government to honor the requirements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
As part of the next steps, Thurston County has issued a Determination of Significance and Request for Comments on Scope of the draft HCP Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Thurston County and USFWS will host two virtual public meetings to gather community feedback. At each public meeting you will have an opportunity to learn about the EIS process and ask questions of the project team.
What: HCP Environmental Impact Statement Virtual Meeting #1
When: Monday, October 26, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: The public Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86768293569, and the passcode is 932545. You can also dial in at (253) 215-8782. The webinar ID is 867 6829 3569 and the passcode is 932545.
What: HCP Environmental Impact Statement Virtual Meeting #2
When: Wednesday, October 28, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: The public Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83530202275, and the passcode is 633751. You can also dial in at (253) 215-8782. The webinar ID is 835 3020 2275 and the passcode is 633751.
The comment period will close on Sunday, November 15, 2020. You can submit comments online at: https://thurstoncomments.org/comment-on-the-habitat-conservation-plan/.
You can also mail written comments to Christina Chaput, Senior Planner at:
Community Planning and Economic Development Department
Attention: Christina Chaput, Senior Planner
Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502
The purpose of the public scoping process is for the public to assist Thurston County and USFWS in developing a draft EIS by identifying important issues and alternatives related to the HCP. Thurston County continues to work with USFWS to prepare an integrated EIS, which will examine the environmental impacts of the county's HCP proposal.
To learn more about the HCP, visit: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/planning/Pages/hcp.aspx