Starting in 2023, Thurston County has a new arrangement with federal authorities called the Habitat Conservation Plan ordinance. This allows property owners planning to build on parcels with pocket gopher habitat to work directly with county planners to meet federal Best Management Practices in their site development plans. For many folks living in Thurston County, this means that a separate pocket gopher survey will not be necessary. In other jurisdictions (e.g. the City of Yelm), a gopher survey may still be required as part of the permitting process.
For more information about the new HCP Permit process, please see Thurston County’s online information page.