FWS Listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken Tossed out by Federal Judge
U.S. District Judge Robert Junell of the Western District of Texas held that the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) failed to follow its own regulations for considering ongoing conservation efforts for the lesser prairie chicken (LPC) before its March 2014 listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
NMBA will continue to track this issue and work diligently with the FWS and our members to better understand the ramifications to this emerging market and ensure mitigation equivalency for our industry as next steps are decided.
Even as summer vacations begin to wind down, your association is pursuing multiple initiatives and missions. From continuing NMBA’s input on species and conservation banking policies, to undertaking new data and research reports, to growing our membership, these past few months have been exceedingly busy. Our new executive director, Bart James, has made significant headway already in new outreach to membership, in support to committee meetings and projects, and in orienting new members to their benefits and resources. My deep thanks to the Board of Directors, the committees and Bart for all they are accomplishing.
As NMBA moves to a new level, with increased capacity, we are taking some time to ‘sharpen the saw.’ While our association’s year-in, year-out focus for some nearly 20 years has been to advance federal policy, and while that track has enabled our growth, it now begs that we improve basic infrastructure needed to support not only the new executive director, but most importantly, our growing membership. This new website and improved communications and data capacity are but a few examples of the many changes underway.
Expect over the next few months to see improvements to NMBA industry outreach and, importantly, increased effectiveness in moving forward vital policies and markets. Expect too that there will be more information at your fingertips, and mobile with your work.
Your new committee chairs and the board of directors that I am privileged to serve need your help. I hope you’ll find time to thank some of the many volunteers who are working daily to advance the goals of NMBA and the industry. I would love your personal commitment to volunteering on a committee or increasing your membership level. I would be honored if you could find a way to help us to better achieve our mission.
There are exciting industry announcements on the near horizon. NMBA has tremendous opportunities in this year to advance our work, so your willingness to support the association can make all the difference in our success. Please consider reaching out now and getting involved.
Thanks in advance for your renewed support. – Michael C. Sprague, President
Wildlands Inc is pleased to announce that restoration is underway at the recently approved San Luis Rey Wetland Mitigation Bank in Oceanside, San Diego County, California. A groundbreaking ceremony was attended by local, state and federal agencies involved with the project including the City of Oceanside, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The San Luis Rey Wetland Mitigation Bank is a 54-acre existing agricultural field that will be restored to native floodplain wetland habitat. The bank is being established to offset unavoidable impacts to wetlands and riparian habitat in Northern San Diego County and Southwestern Riverside County. Public and private development projects with permits from the Army Corps of Engineers or California Department of Fish and Wildlife can mitigate their impacts by purchasing mitigation “credits” from the bank.
Wildlands is a long-standing NMBA member and supporter.
Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP) received word recently that the Mitigation Banking Instrument for its Old Florida Mitigation Bank has been approved by the U.S. Army Corps and the other federal and state members of the Interagency Review Team (IRT). According to EIP Director of Operations Dave Urban, “This approval was completed in a very professional and timely manner by the staff of the Jacksonville District and the IRT, and will allow us to move to the next stage of activity in the permanent protection and restoration of an important wet pine savannah, marsh and prairie ecosystem in the watershed to the north of Tampa and St. Petersburg.”
EIP acquired the 1,095 acre parcel in order to establish the Old Florida Mitigation Bank (OFMB) in May of 2013, and the bank had previously been permitted under a separate state regulatory program by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. (SWFWMA)
National Mitigation Banking Association is proud to have EIP as an active part of our industry and association. Dave Urban is a past president of NMBA and EIP’s Adam Davis currently serves on the board of directors.
Lashley Joins Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Chesapeake Trust
As part of GreenVest’s on-going efforts to provide leadership and advocacy in the environmental field, President Doug Lashley has recently accepted two new positions with some of the Chesapeake Bay’s strongest and most innovative conservation efforts.
In January 2015, Doug was honored to accept a position as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, which has been working since 1971 to fulfill its mission of bringing together “individuals, organizations, businesses and governments to find collaborative solutions, to build a strong commitment to stewardship, and to deliver innovative, broadly-supported programs that benefit the land, waters, and residents of the Chesapeake Bay.”
In addition to the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Doug is also excited to accept a role as an Advisory Committee Member for the Chesapeake Trust Fund Financing Task Force, a new University of Maryland collaboration between the Environmental Finance Center and the Center for Social Value Creation.
Doug is past president and a current board member of the National Mitigation Banking Association.
A white paper recently released by the National Mitigation Banking Association provides critical guidance for seven universal principles of compensatory mitigation regardless of regulatory authority. While environmental offsets would likely be as diverse as the impacts themselves, consistent mitigation standards should be applied to all mitigation to assure the offset is fully provided in function over time. This free concise resource for government, non-profits, and industry was authored to support high environmental standards and to enable increasingly streamlined permitting.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 15, 2015 – The National Mitigation Banking Association (NMBA) announced today Barton James has been named Executive Director for the association.
“Barton has been instrumental in shaping national conservation policy for over two decades. He brings a wealth of experience to our membership through his work on and off Capitol Hill, within the Federal government, and at leading conservation organizations,” said NMBA Executive Board President Wayne White. “His understanding of complex conservation issues paired with his advocacy and campaign experience has uniquely prepared him to lead the next evolution of our association as our first-ever executive director.” >Read More via 2015-bartonjames
“There are many places where the ground is literally covered, and the whole heavens completely blackened, with innumerable flocks of countless numbers of geese, ducks, brants, cranes, and all the various noisy tribes, of all the feathered creation.”
–Lansford W. Hastings in The 1845 Pioneers Guide for the Western Traveler
Since colonial times Americans have worked fervently to drain and fill the estimated 225
million acres of wetlands that graced what eventually became the contiguous United States.
The Swamp Land Acts of 1849, 1850, and 1860 formally declared wetlands a menace and
hindrance to land development, and encouraged their drainage and development. America
agreed, and worked to dry up more than half of the sponge that absorbs and stores
floodwaters; to scoop out the great marshy gills that filter pollutants from runoff; and to
dredge the productive nurseries that maintain aquatic and avian life. America’s wetlands, that support one-third of our threatened and endangered species,
continued to suffer from railroads that made agriculture more profitable, a growing taste for
beaver pelts and sugar, and muddled laws that regarded land as private and water as public.
The Industrial Revolution as well as growth and development of our U.S. Government led
military presence have also clearly extracted their toll. It wasn’t until the last few decades that
the irreplaceable value of wetlands and importance of water quality has become clearer. And
while we have a better understanding today of how wetlands benefit our environment,
calculating the ecological services wetlands perform is still an evolving science.
Knowing our history and understanding our loss is an important step to begin to
compensate for our nation’s mistakes during a time when we knew no better. When
Americans know the story of their wetlands, they will understand why remaining
swamps and marshes at the edges of their fields, their subdivisions, their shopping
malls, and their industrial parks, all require and need protection.
History of Federal Wetland Law
The first regulatory recognition of the need to protect wetlands is found in the 1972
Clean Water Act (CWA). Specifically, Section 404 of the CWA requires a permit to
discharge dredged or fill materials into waters of the U. S. Two other key provisions
of the CWA include the requirement to avoid and minimize impacts when possible,
and the requirement to provide compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts.
These clauses are still prevalent today and referred to as sequencing. > Read More HistoryOfMitigationBanking
ACCESS Membership enables access to policy makers, NMBA members, regulatory insights and market information.
REPRESENTATION Your association is a group that proactively protects and advances the interests of the member community.
NETWORK The NMBA provides unparalleled access to peers in the ecosystem services market space to share learning and knowledge and enable ongoing support.
MARKET DEVELOPMENT Members are all working to advance the growth of our industry.
Just a Few of the Many Advantages of Membership
Your dues are leveraged with the dues of others to retain the best legal and lobbying representation at the national level, undoubtedly a level of service that no individual entity in our space could likely sustain.
Membership gets you a “seat at the table“ and “voice in the room” with policymakers and with key agencies involved in the rulemaking and implementation process.
NMBA provides direct support to membership on national regulatory issues.
Members have the opportunity to work with other members from around the country to share experiences and receive peer-to-peer advice and counsel available no where else.
Tools built-for-industry, including Mitigation Analyst www.mitigationalyst.org provide our membership unique, unparalleled advantages in a rapidly-changing environment.