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ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Michael Bean Chair, Wildlife Program Chair, Wildlife Program.

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Presentation on theme: "ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Michael Bean Chair, Wildlife Program Chair, Wildlife Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Michael Bean Chair, Wildlife Program Chair, Wildlife Program

2 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Basic duties of the ESA 1.No take of listed animals without a permit. 2.Federal actions must not jeopardize listed species.

3 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking The exceptions 1.Take incidental to otherwise lawful activities permitted if mitigated (§9). 2.Federal agencies can incorporate conservation measures in project descriptions to avoid jeopardy (§7).

4 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Terminology: Why conservation rather than mitigation banks? 1.Wetland mitigation banking has been highly controversial. 2.No obligation to impose mitigation under §7.

5 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking A quick history of endangered species conservation banking 1.First banks pre-dated any banking policy. 2.California promulgated first banking policy in 1995. 3.First formal FWS guidance in May 2003. 4.NOAA-Fisheries has neither policy nor banking experience.

6 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking The federal guidance 1.Notice of availability published in Federal Register, but not the guidance itself. 2.No public input on the guidance.

7 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Conservation Bank defined A parcel of land containing natural resource values that are conserved and managed in perpetuity, through a conservation easement held by an entity responsible for enforcing the terms of the easement, for specified listed species and used to offset impacts occurring elsewhere to the same resource values on non-bank lands.

8 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Credits defined Credits are the quantification of a species or habitats conservation values within a bank.

9 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking More on credits 1.In its simplest form, one credit will equal one acre of habitat or the area supporting one nest site or family group. 2.The most important consideration for any mitigation requirements … is that they should be proportionate … to the extent of the impact and consistent from project to project.

10 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking What actions produce credits? 1.Unlike wetland banking policy, endangered species banking policy welcomes acquisition or protection of existing habitat. 2.Credits for creating or restoring habitat are possible, but seldom pursued in practice.

11 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Where can credits be used? 1.Within specified service areas. 2.Service areas generally correspond to recovery units in recovery plans.

12 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Some practical challenges 1.Quantification of credits (and debits) is relatively subjective and difficult. 2.Acres are often a poor surrogate for conservation values. 3.Potential market for credits may be very local and very small. 4.Market is further undermined by inconsistent enforcement.

13 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE Endangered Species Conservation Banking Some examples of endangered species conservation banks 1.International Paper red-cockaded woodpecker bank. 2.Hickory Pass Ranch bank for golden-cheeked warbler. 3.Mobile Area Sewer and Water Commission gopher tortoise bank. 4.Coles Levee Bank for California gnatcatcher.


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