2016 Gopher Review Process
The Mazama pocket gopher is protected by the County’s Critical Areas Ordinance, state and federal law, including the Endangered Species Act (ESA). That’s why the County conducts site reviews of properties on or near gopher soils before issuing permits. Soils are an indicator of possible gopher presence.
The basic process
Submit a permit application.
Properties on or near gopher soils get up to
three site visits, at least 30 days apart.
Some exclusions apply, see lists below.
Site reviews conducted between June and October only.
Review schedules fill up and close.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service review sites with the County because they oversee the ESA and the gopher listing.
If gophers are found, applications will be processed in accordance with the County’s Critical Areas Ordinance. (PDF)
Prepare for a site visit
Mow tall Scotch broom.
Remove piles of debris and dangerous materials.
Reviewers call applicants before visits. Visits still occur if staff don’t reach anyone.
What happens during a site visit
Staff do not enter homes or buildings.
They may walk entire property observing soils, vegetation, and other land features.
They may dig small holes to evaluate soils. Soil will be put back into the hole.
How to get information after a site visit
Check online anytime: www.co.thurston.wa.us/cm/permitting/permit-lookup.asp.
Email email@example.com, include application number.
Leave a message for the on-call planner if you applied for an ‘Other Administrative Action.’ The on-call number is (360) 754-3355 ext. 6299
Additional reading and information
Use County maps to see if a property is on gopher soils.
2016 Mowing instructions (PDF)
Learn about Thurston County’s Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan
Gopher and Mole ID Card (PDF)
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