Mazama Pocket Gopher Mitigation Project on the Bubble in State Ranking

October 5, 2018

The latest on the fight to mitigate pocket gopher encroachment in Thurston County. This project will only get WWRP funding if the program receives at least $85 million in the capital budget.

Excerpt: A preliminary ranking of grant applications to the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Critical Habitat Projects arm of the state Recreation and Conservation Board slots the South Sound Prairies project sixth out of 10 with a score of 36.57.  Scores are calculated using a rubric with categories such as public benefit and support and ecological and biological characteristics.

Based on how state funds allocated to the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program are divided between sub-programs such as Critical Habitat Projects, the WWRP would need to receive about $85 million during the 2019-2021 funding cycle for the CHP arm to get the $12.5 million it would need to fund its top six applications. The WWRP received $80 million in the most recent capital budget, well above the $56 million it has averaged since 1990.

“We have asked the governor to fund the program at $130 million,” said Susan Zemek, a spokesperson for the state Recreation and Conservation Office. “So, we don’t know. The good news is that sometimes projects ahead of (South Sound Prairies) might fall through, or they might not spend as much money. Just because it doesn’t get funded doesn’t mean it’s a dead project.”

Read the full story in the The Daily Chronicle.