In order to conduct a valid survey, the surveyor must have a clear enough view of the ground to be able to see any gopher mounds that might be present. In thickly wooded areas, forest understory vegetation should remain undisturbed. In more open areas, including lightly wooded areas, this means that any tall grass, brambles, blackberries, and other foliage needs to be mowed.
However, mowing needs to happen reasonably far in advance of the survey. Since mowing can disturb existing gopher mounds, time needs to pass in order to allow any gophers in the area to produce visible, identifiable evidence of their presence. Fortunately, Thurston County has established clear mowing requirements that everyone must follow in order to conduct an acceptable survey.
If you still have questions about your particular site, feel free to take a few photos and send them to us for review. We’ll be glad to help!