Habitat Conservation Plan

The Olympia Regional Airport and the City of Tumwater are located on the site of a glacial prairie historically called Bush Prairie after its most remarkable early resident, George Washington Bush, who settled in the area in 1845. Since then most of Bush Prairie has been converted to agriculture or forestry, residences, and businesses, but part of it still remains and provides a home for the unique flora and fauna of the South Puget Sound Prairie ecosystem.

The Bush Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan is being developed to balance growth and the preservation of endangered species within the City of Tumwater and its urban growth area (including the entirety of the Olympia Regional Airport). The Habitat Conservation Plan will conserve these species by providing long-term habitat protection across a system of managed reserve areas. The City of Tumwater and the Port of Olympia are jointly developing the Habitat Conservation Plan through the terms of an Interlocal Agreement.

The Habitat Conservation Plan will provide for long-term preservation and management of three species, protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, that occur in Tumwater: Olympia pocket gopher, streaked horned lark, and Oregon spotted frog. Protection of habitat for these species will also mitigate for the impacts of ongoing development, maintenance, and other activities performed by the City of Tumwater and the Port of Olympia, which have the potential to harm these species or their habitat.

The affected species will benefit from assured, long-term habitat protection. The people of Tumwater and the customers of the Olympia Regional Airport will benefit from a federal permit authorizing impacts to these species, which will facilitate planned development and maintenance work. The Habitat Conservation Plan is expected to reduce the costs and time that would otherwise be needed for individual landowners to comply with the provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

More information on the Habitat Conservation Plan and opportunities for public involvement can be found at the Bush Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan website
Olympia Pocket Gopher
Streaked horned lark in habitat