Thurston County Conservation District Voices Opposition to Proposed Airport


In a Nov. 9 news release, the Thurston County Conservation District Board of Supervisors voiced its opposition to the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission’s proposed airport in the county.

On Oct. 25, the board of supervisors wrote a letter detailing three specific reasons they opposed the airport proposal.

The first reason is the rate of agricultural land loss in the county is already too high and local government bodies have adopted a “no net loss” policy regarding agricultural lands to help ensure food security for Thurston County residents.

“The ‘Central Thurston’ location disrupts agriculture on some of the best soils in our nation,” the board stated in the Oct. 25 letter.

The second reason revolved around the proposed airport’s location being in pocket gopher habitat, among other Endangered Species Act listed animals.

Finally, the Thurston County Conservation District brought up the fact that Thurston County is the current and ancestral home of the Chehalis Indian Tribes, the Squaxin Island Tribe and the Nisqually Tribe.

“The ‘Central Thurston’ location proposed has environmental impacts that degrade natural resources, including sensitive habitats, including those that have been stewarded by our tribal communities since time immemorial,” stated the board in the letter.

Because of these three reasons, the conservation district urged the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission to remove the Central Thurston location from its consideration.

This letter followed another October letter from the Thurston County Board of Commissioners and a number of mayors from the county also expressing opposition to the proposed airport in Central Thurston. 

The Thurston County location is one of three under consideration as the state looks to ease congestion and manage for growth at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.