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Author Topic: The Green Scam of “Endangered Species”  (Read 70477 times)

Offline Curly

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Re: The Green Scam of “Endangered Species”
« Reply #600 on: May 19, 2017, 10:50:17 AM »
I don't think it's right for a stupid gopher to hold up or stop construction when there is plenty of the little critters.  A large population exists on JBLM property and I hear there's a bunch on the Olympia airport property.

http://mynorthwest.com/554485/mazama-pocket-gopher-thurston-county/

The environmentalists are using the gopher as a tool to stop development.


Quote
Thurston County has a big problem caused by one small critter: the Mazama Pocket Gopher.

Unlike in other areas of the country where the rodent is considered a nuisance, Thurston County’s frustrations have nothing to do with cratered lawns or earthen eruptions on putting greens. Instead, all land development in Thurston County has ground to a halt since the Mazama Pocket Gopher is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The Federal Department of Fish and Wildlife, which oversees ESA status, has proposed a Habitat Conservation Plan for the gopher that will cost Thurston County taxpayers $150 million. Until that conservation plan is agreed upon or rejected by Thurston County Commissioners, every new construction project requires a gopher inspection. All projects are wait-listed for approval, sometimes for years, pending those gopher inspections.

It doesn’t matter if the project is a new home, a road, or even a simple shed, as one of Thurston County Commissioner Gary Edwards’ constituents learned.

Edwards says it ultimately took four inspections to approve and, “they made this citizen jump through so many hoops, he was held up for over a year just to build a shed on his own property.”

Quote
Thurston County has a big problem caused by one small critter: the Mazama Pocket Gopher.

Unlike in other areas of the country where the rodent is considered a nuisance, Thurston County’s frustrations have nothing to do with cratered lawns or earthen eruptions on putting greens. Instead, all land development in Thurston County has ground to a halt since the Mazama Pocket Gopher is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The Federal Department of Fish and Wildlife, which oversees ESA status, has proposed a Habitat Conservation Plan for the gopher that will cost Thurston County taxpayers $150 million. Until that conservation plan is agreed upon or rejected by Thurston County Commissioners, every new construction project requires a gopher inspection. All projects are wait-listed for approval, sometimes for years, pending those gopher inspections.

It doesn’t matter if the project is a new home, a road, or even a simple shed, as one of Thurston County Commissioner Gary Edwards’ constituents learned.

Edwards says it ultimately took four inspections to approve and, “they made this citizen jump through so many hoops, he was held up for over a year just to build a shed on his own property.”
Mazama Pocket Gopher vs. private property

Part of the reason why the inspection process takes so long is the Mazama Pocket Gopher’s hibernation cycle. Since the varmints are dormant from October through June, none of the federally required inspections can take place during that time.

There are so many folks waiting on inspections that anyone who hasn’t applied for one yet will likely have to wait until June of 2018 to have their property assessed.

As it stands today, should a Thurston County resident’s house burn down, even if they had insurance money in-hand, they would not be able to build.

According to Commissioner Edwards, the gopher regulations have become, “so restrictive it’s killed our economic engine. We’ve had many businesses leave the county. Those that were intending on coming to the County went elsewhere. Our economic engine has basically been stifled.”

Getting on the inspection list may be the least of property owners’ concerns: should the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan be approved, the fees for developing any land in the county will skyrocket.

The Habitat Conservation Plan will function like a carbon offset tax; property owners and developers are free to develop their land so long as they pay a huge fee into a fund that would be used to purchase land for gopher habitat elsewhere.

Under the plan, any landowner or developer planning to build a single family home with a gopher on the property would be forced to pay $42,000 in habitat offset fees.
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Offline wolfbait

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Re: The Green Scam of “Endangered Species”
« Reply #601 on: May 19, 2017, 10:58:35 AM »
Secret Gopher Map Reveals Washington Agency’s Power

http://agenda21news.com/2014/10/SECRET-GOPHER-MAP-REVEALS-WASHINGTON-AGENCYS-POWER/


‘International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature’ behind pocket gopher hoax

http://agenda21news.com/2014/10/part-five-international-commission-zoological-nomenclature-behind-pocket-gopher-hoax/



Government claims about pocket gopher protection remain flawed

http://agenda21news.com/2014/11/GOVERNMENT-CLAIMS-POCKET-GOPHER-PROTECTION-REMAIN-FLAWED/

Offline Curly

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Re: The Green Scam of “Endangered Species”
« Reply #602 on: May 19, 2017, 11:05:06 AM »
Old news about the Cross Base Hwy (stopped by groups named below):

 Oct 21, 2010
SEATTLE, WA – This week, US District Court Judge Benjamin H. Settle signed an agreement worked out by parties in a lawsuit challenging Pierce County’s proposed Cross-Base Highway (SR-704). Tahoma Audubon Society, Conservation Northwest, Woodbrook Hunt Club, and the American Lake Gardens Equestrian Alliance filed the lawsuit challenging the inadequate environmental review of the proposed highway in early August 2010.
http://www.conservationnw.org/news/pressroom/press-releases/cross-base-highway-lawsuit-put-on-hold

“If any federal, state, or local funding materializes for this project, we’ll head back to court to protect this rare remnant prairie and prairie wildlife,” said Jen Watkins of Conservation Northwest.

The lawsuit was filed to protect one of the region's largest remaining tracts of oak-woodland prairie remaining in Washington State. The Puget Sound prairies once covered more than 150,000 acres, but today only about 3% remains. The area is considered by the County’s Biodiversity Network Assessment to be one of the "most biologically and ecologically rich areas remaining in the lower elevations of Pierce County,” containing old-growth Oregon white oak, Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine interspersed among prairie and wetlands. The prairie provides essential habitat for 19 plants and animals facing extinction, including streaked horned lark, Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, western gray squirrel, Mazama pocket gopher, and water howellia.

"The road proponents failed to take into account the disastrous and irreversible environmental impacts in its rush to build the Cross-Base Highway," said Bryan Flint, executive director of Tahoma Audubon Society, "This four lane highway rips through pristine and endangered habitat." Rather than consider alternative routes, the Federal Highway Administration, Washington State Department of Transportation, and Pierce County proposed a brand new six-mile-long, four-lane Cross-Base Highway across rare prairie habitat on Joint Base Lewis-McChord at a cost likely to approach half a billion dollars.

The prairie is also key to the operations of the historic Woodbrook Hunt Club. "Our members have been riding in this area for nearly 100 years; we are the oldest hunt club west of the Mississippi,” said Jennifer Hansen, member of the Woodbrook Hunt Club. "This road is unnecessary, too expensive, and would harm the economic and historical value of the hunt club and surrounding equestrian businesses.”

The organizations filing the suit are represented by David Bricklin of Bricklin & Newman, LLP, and Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center.__________________________________________________________________________________

Sounds like this horse riding club has been trespassing for over 100 years and wish to keep riding the property and they joined the lawsuit to stop construction.

The article site's lack of funding for the highway as to why it wasn't constructed, but I heard that it was successfully stopped because of a threatened butterfly, the mazama pocket gopher, and the western gray squirrel. 

I've also heard that construction may finally start this summer.  So, it's probably going to happen eventually; it just is going to cost a lot more because of the law suit with lawyer fees and such.
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Offline BDildine

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Re: The Green Scam of “Endangered Species”
« Reply #603 on: May 19, 2017, 11:50:40 AM »
always wondered why they just "stopped" when they got to spanaway loop. Yeah, i feel the same about the horse jockeys. While i don't necessarily want to see old growth oak (if that part is true) cut down, there are tons of other spots (like out off 8th) that theres grass lands for people to go ride..
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Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: The Green Scam of “Endangered Species”
« Reply #604 on: May 20, 2017, 11:22:42 AM »
http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/Permitting/gopher-reviews/index.html

So how many people have had to pay that 42k? 


 

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