Pocket gophers (Northern pocket gopher shown here) are stout-bodied rodents with small ears and eyes and large clawed front paws. Their large front teeth are used to loosen soil and rocks while digging, as well as to cut and eat roots. (Photo by Ty Smedes.)
– “Thurston permit process to protect gophers”
“Want to build in unincorporated Thurston County? Better submit permits sooner rather than later, county officials say.
That’s because the county released an interim review process aimed at protecting Mazama pocket gophers, which will be in place between now and October 2016.
The screening process remains about the same as it was last year, the county stated, which resulted in more than 90 percent of permit applicants receiving clearance for their permits.
This year’s process includes two or three site visits conducted between June and October by a team of county and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prairie experts. In order to complete the visits within the timeframe, officials suggest applications need to be submitted by Friday, July 31.
While the screening is free, the process is still a thorny issue for builders,” quoting the Business Examiner.
– “Gopher review plan expected to expedite building permits, county says”
“The standoff between pocket gophers and developers in unincorporated Thurston County has reached an apparent detente.
Thurston County officials have settled on a process to screen building and development applications that includes a Critical Areas Ordinance review that considers the impact on Mazama pocket gophers and other species. Anyone planning to build in unincorporated Thurston County before October 2016 is urged to apply for permits as soon as possible, the county announced Thursday [June 11],” quoting Jerre Redecker, The Olympian.