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Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California. Loren E. Clark Assistant Director, Placer County Community Development Resource Agency. Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California. Where is Placer County?.

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conservation mitigation banking in placer county california

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Loren E. Clark

Assistant Director, Placer County

Community Development Resource Agency

where is placer county

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Where is Placer County?

Placer County lies just east of Sacramento and extends from the Central Valley through the Sierra Nevada to Lake Tahoe and the Nevada State Border. In California, County government provides municipal services for areas outside the city limits and services for all residents of the county.

Over 400,000 new residents are expected between now and 2060.

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Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Use for remaining slides

Placer County Ecoregions and Vegetation

Over 90% of new growth will occur in western Placer County

Over 50% of all habitats in California can be found in Placer County

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Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Banking in Placer County

Banks are used throughout Northern California and are an important part of regional conservation planning as well.

Placer County is one of four major regional conservation efforts in the Sacramento Region including efforts in Yolo County, Sacramento County, and a joint effort in Sutter/Yuba County.

existing conservation mitigation banks
Existing Conservation & Mitigation Banks

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

= Conservation & Mitigation Banks

= Mitigation Banks

There are over 3,500 acres functioning as banks in Placer County.

They are typically associated with freshwater emergent wetland mitigation or mitigation of vernal pool wetlands.

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Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Banking in Placer County

  • County policy supporting wetland mitigation banking dates to 1989
  • Banks for wetland mitigation were established after the adoption of guidelines by the State of California on the establishment and use of banks in 1993.
  • The first wetland mitigation bank was established by Wildlands Inc. in 1994. In 2009 the first endangered species only bank was established
  • Eight banks are currently being managed in Placer County today.
  • Banks have been established for compensatory mitigation and conservation for wetlands and endangered species.
  • Banks have been used by both the public and private sector.
  • Private entrepreneurs have established all of the banks as a for-profit business.
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Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Banking in Placer County

Mitigation Banks

  • Used to mitigate impacts to Waters of the U.S. (no net loss standard)
  • Used for compensatory mitigation for state/federal endangered species
  • Used for compensatory mitigation for local environmental effects (local policies & ordinances and state environmental law)
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Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Banking in Placer County

  • Typical Mitigation Requirement:
  • 1:1 compensatory
  • 1:1 preservation
  • Ratios may be higher to account for temporal losses, recovery plan standards, etc.
  • Example vernal pool wetland:
  • 1.25:1 compensatory mitigation
  • 2:1 preservation
  • 3.25:1 overall

Conservation Banks

  • Typically used to preserve endangered species habitat
  • Used to preserve wetland habitat in conjunction with wetland compensatory mitigation
  • May occur on the same site that a mitigation bank is established
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Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Banking in Placer County

Public Sector Use

Private Sector Use

  • Direct impacts associated with construction of new facilities (buildings, bridges)
  • Direct impacts associated with linear infrastructure (roads, sewer, water)
  • Indirect impacts associated with the growth that results from new infrastructure
  • Direct impacts associated with land development
  • Preservation endangered species habitat and wetlands for direct impacts
  • Compensatory mitigation for direct impacts on wetlands
  • Compensatory mitigation for localized indirect impacts to wetlands and species
benefits of banking to the user
Benefits of Banking to the User

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

  • There are numerous benefits associated with the use of banks:
  • Private sector is efficient at establishing credit value and operating banks
  • Fast delivery of mitigation services – credit purchase or “turn key” bank
  • Private sector banks can be responsive to the market place
  • No habitat restoration, design, bid, construct and monitor obligations
benefits of banking to the environment
Benefits of Banking to the Environment

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

  • Mitigation is established before “take” or mitigation occurs
  • In perpetuity monitoring and management with financial assurances
  • High value resources created and conserved
  • Banks can be established which mimic and replace the conditions present at the area of impact
  • Banks can account for temporal losses (impacted mature habitat is replaced with created mature habitat; not a newly constructed restoration site)
benefits of banking avoiding resource intensification
Benefits of Banking – Avoiding Resource Intensification

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

  • Banks can provide a conservation landscape that mimics natural conditions. Typical problems include:
  • Mitigation created at densities that exceed natural conditions due to economies of scale
  • Potential for catastrophic failure (all your eggs are in a small basket)
  • Mitigation often occurs on less than optimal sites

West Placer wetland mitigation bank

Created vernal pools in a powerline easement

benefits of banking avoiding resource intensification1
Benefits of Banking – Avoiding Resource Intensification

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Mitigation Site

Conservation Bank

Created High Density Pools EXAMPLE Natural High Density Pools

benefits of banking avoiding resource isolation
Benefits of Banking – Avoiding Resource Isolation

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Today avoidance and minimization leads to isolated natural areas surrounded by urban development. Appropriately situated banks can result in better resource management, less edge effect, natural hydrology and compatibility with adjacent land uses.

Isolated resources with significant urban edges and changes in hydrology

  • Preserved vernal pools adjacent to a regional mall
integration of banks into regional conservation plans
Integration of Banks into Regional Conservation Plans

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Placer County is preparing a landscape scale conservation plan on over 200,000 acres.

Banks serve as a 3,500 acre core area around which additional conservation will occur.

Existing and future banks will provide an important element for both land conservation and their ability to establish and sell mitigation credit value

Proposed Conservation Map

in lieu fee programs
In Lieu Fee Programs

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

In lieu fees allow a proponent to pay a fee for a project’s mitigation obligations versus implementing a mitigation action. The entity receiving the fee payment is responsible for insuring mitigation occurs and for assuring its success over time.

In California, State law also requires that a nexus be empirically demonstrated between the amount of the fee collected and the degree to which an impact has occurred (AB 1600).

in lieu fee programs1
In Lieu Fee Programs

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

The Corps of Engineers Compensatory Rule for wetland mitigation states an in-lieu fee program must include:

“a compensation planning framework that will be used to select, secure, and implement aquatic resource restoration, establishment, enhancement, and/or preservation activities.”

For Placer County our conservation plan will provide this framework. In lieu fees will be used with mitigation banks and land dedications.

in lieu fee programs2
In Lieu Fee Programs

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

For Placer County our conservation plan will provide the required framework for conservation.

In lieu fees will be used with mitigation banks and land dedications to implement a 50-year plan for mitigation and conservation.

Conservation Area

Impact Area

future of banking in placer county
Future of Banking in Placer County

Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

  • Banking is well established in Placer County and is expected to be an important part of the conservation landscape for years to come. Issues to consider over time include:
  • Integration of banks into conservation plans
  • Cost of for-profit credits vs. public in lieu fee programs
  • Bank service area boundaries vs. conservation plans
  • Watershed boundaries vs. political boundaries vs. conservation plan boundaries – need to be reconciled
  • Utilization of banks outside the jurisdiction – (can I buy yours if you can buy mine?)
  • Layering of bank credit values (e.g., carbon sequestration, floodplain protection, farmland)
  • Potential use for oak woodland conservation
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Conservation & Mitigation Banking in Placer County California

Contact Information:

Loren E. Clark

lclark@placer.ca.gov

530 745-3016