- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Thurston County officials have set up a screening process for developers in unincorporated areas designed to protect pocket gophers.

The Olympian reports (https://bit.ly/1C3Eprp ) that the new reviews will consider the impact developments have on Mazama pocket gophers and other species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed for subspecies of the gophers as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. They’re only found in Thurston and Pierce counties.

The application process requires two to three site visits by a team of experts between June and October. In order to complete the visits by October, officials recommend applications be submitted by July 31.

The inspections are free to applicants, although regular permit fees still apply. A federal grant will help Fish and Wildlife and the county cover the screening costs.

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Information from: The Olympian, https://www.theolympian.com

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