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Yelm’s urban sprawl may finally be slowed –
Mazama pocket gopher to be on endangered list

Washington’s Mazama Pocket Gopher
Photo by Kim Flotlin, USFWS

“Washington’s Mazama Pocket Gophers Protected Under Endangered Species Act”
“Gophers’ Rare Puget Prairie Home Threatened by Sprawl, Invasive Species”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized Endangered Species Act protection today [April 8] for four subspecies of Mazama pocket gophers and designated 1,607 acres of protected critical habitat in Washingtons Thurston County, including at the Olympia Airport. The decision was part of a landmark settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity requiring the agency to speed protection decisions for 757 species across the country. It also included a special rule exempting airport, agricultural and other activities from the prohibitions of the Endangered Species Act a tactic Fish and Wildlife is increasingly using to avoid inconveniencing industries and landowners with endangered species on their land.”

The four subspecies protected today include the Olympia, Roy Prairie, Tenino and Yelm pocket gophers, all of which are threatened by urban and agricultural sprawl that plows under their prairie habitats, as well as invasion of prairies by trees that thrive in the absence of regular fire. Three other subspecies were determined not to need protection,” quoting The Center for Biological Diversity.
Read more

Click here for the Federal Register listing.

Click here for the Designation of Critical Habitat for Mazama Pocket Gophers

Posted by Steve on April 9, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

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