New pocket gopher remediation plan in works

April 5th, 2018 by Ken

Listing of the Mazama Pocket Gopher as an endangered species, has caused significant problems for property owners in Thurston County.

The listing has impacted what a property owner can do with his or her property and impacts not only individual property owners, but the City of Lacey, the City of Tumwater, Thurston County and the Port of Olympia, all of whom own property in areas containing pocket gophers.

Previously, Thurston County Commissioners instituted a gopher mitigation process, approved by the federal government which severely restricted use of property and required millions of dollars in restitution and remediation.

But, the current county commission, led by Bud Blake, has re-negotiated the agreement with the federal agency over-seeing the mitigation and have reached a new agreement.

Previously, private land owners were required to have three visits by the county to ascertain if gophers existed on the affected property.   The new agreement has those visits down to two.   The amount of land the county was required to set aside has been  significantly reduced as has the amount of money the county was required to pay for remediation.

Sometimes all it takes is a new look and a new approach to a problem.

Posted in Local Politics, The Real News

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