In 2014, four species found in Thurston County were added to the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) list. ESA protections outline civil and criminal penalties for harming listed species without first getting a take permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). In order to get a take permit, a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) must be submitted along with the permit application.
An HCP describes the impacts that building and development may have on protected species and their habitat, and details the methods that will be used to avoid, minimize and mitigate those impacts. The county is preparing an HCP that will define a clear and consistent permit review processes that will support development and economic growth while protecting these species and their habitat.
Draft HCP ready for public input next year
The county expects to have a draft HCP ready for public review and comment in 2016. We expect the USFWS to approve the county’s HCP and issue a take permit in 2017.
In the interim: Keeping decisions local and continuing to permit
Until the county completes its HCP and gets a take permit from USFWS, we use interim permit review processes developed in conjunction with USFWS. So far, the majority of permit applicants have received permits.
Without these interim processes, it is uncertain what the county’s next steps would be.
Interested Parties: If you would like to be added to our Web Mail list, please click here. Staff contact: Andrew Deffobis, Associate Planner. Phone: (360) 754-3355, ext. 5467. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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