Conservation Banking On The Rise In Texas
Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
At A Glance
- Conservation banks are permanently protected lands that contain natural resource values.
- In 2012, we piloted a 3-day course for the state of Texas
- More than 100 participants attended
- This regional course was based on our annual national Conservation Banking Course
Regional sponsors of the course included:
Conservation banking is experiencing unprecedented interest and demand across the country. A mitigation technique first popularized in California and Florida, Conservation (or species) banking is now taking hold in other parts of the country, especially Texas.
In 2012, The Conservation Fund piloted a 3-day course for the state of Texas. Demand for the Texas course exceeded expectations by filling up well before the registration deadlines. There were more than 100 participants in attendance.
This regional course was based on our national Conservation Banking Course but tailored to meet the needs of the state of Texas. Topics included national and state-specific tools and examples of site selection, development of banking instruments, performance standards, credit methodologies, financial assurances and much more.
Conservation banks are permanently protected lands that contain natural resource values. These lands are conserved and permanently managed for species that are endangered, threatened, candidates for listing as endangered or threatened or are otherwise species-at-risk. Conservation banks function to offset adverse impacts to these species that occurred elsewhere, sometimes referred to as off-site mitigation. In exchange for permanently protecting the land and managing it for these species, the USFWS approves a specified number of habitat or species credits that bank owners may sell.
The National Conservation Banking Course
A national Conservation Banking Course is offered annually to a national audience in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Federal Highway Administration, USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Mitigation Bankers Association. The course helps people across the country learn the ropes of this alternative mitigation tool. Now in its fourth year, this popular course brings together regulators, users and bankers to learn the fundamentals of conservation banking.
In addition to the national course, customized regional offerings are also helping to meet the rising demand. Plans for a regional offering in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast regions are in the works.