January 16, 2019|By Carey, Margarita
gc summit logoThe inaugural National Summit for Gateway Communities -- held on December 11-13, 2018, at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia -- celebrated the role of gateway communities in the stewardship of America's public lands and identified opportunities to help them thrive. Presentations and other items from this event can be found on this page. Any questions about how to become involved in this or similar programs should be directed to Katie Allen (304-876-7925 | kallen@conservationfund.org). Suggested edits and additions to the contents of this page can be sent to Margarita Carey (mcarey@conservationfund.org).


Additional Resources:

  • LINK to GroundWorkUSA YouTube playlist (associated with Plenary 4)
April 27, 2015|By
In partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, The Conservation Fund's Conservation Leadership Network (CLN) offers an annual training course for members of Interagency Review Teams (IRTs) on Mitigation Banking & In-Lieu Fee Programs. The course is designed to increase the effectiveness of IRTs in reviewing proposed 3rd party mitigation and overseeing their operation. 

Resources and presentations from the June 2019 course offering -- organized by session -- are available for download below. Also available for download are the Course Agenda (pdf) and Resource List (pdf). For information about this and other CLN course offerings, see the Upcoming Courses & Events page.

  • Session 1: Overview Materials (zip file)
  • Session 2: IRTs/MBI Documentation Materials (zip file)
  • Session 3: Site Selection Materials (zip file)
  • Session 4: Site Protection Materials (zip file)
  • Session 5: Business of Banking Materials (zip file)
  • Session 6: Service Area Materials (zip file)
  • Session 7: In-Lieu Fee Materials (zip files) Part 1 |  Part 2 | Part 3
  • Session 8: Short-Term Financial Assurance Materials (zip file)
  • Session 9a: Wetland Crediting Materials (zip files) Part 1 | Part 2
  • Session 9b: Stream Crediting Materials (zip files) Part 1 | Part 2
  • Session 10: Performance Standards/Credit Release Materials (zip file)
  • Session 11: Conservation Banking/Joint Banking Materials (zip file)
  • Session 12: Long-Term Management/Stewardship Financing Materials (zip file)
  • Session 13: Oversight & Compliance Materials (zip file)
  • Session 14: Dispute Resolution Materials (zip file)
  • RIBITS Session Materials (zip file)
  • Class Exercise Materials (zip file)
April 27, 2015|By

Presentations and resources related to the Fundamentals of Water Quality Markets and Trading


PRESENTATIONS:

Setting Baseline & Who Can Trade:

Managing Risk & Uncertainty:

How do you know credits are real?:

Legal Considerations for Trading: 

Facilitating Water Quality Trading Market Design & Development:

 Improving Water Quality Trading Programs Over Time:


RESOURCES:

  1. BBNA, “EPA Once Again Urged by Alliance To Authorize States to Carry Out Trading” 164 DEN A-10, Aug. 25, 2014 (Copyright 2014 by Bloomberg BNA. Reproduced with permission) (PDF)
  2. Clean Water Act, Section 404 (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1344). (PDF)
  3. Collins and Larry: “Caring for Our Natural Assets: An Ecosystem Services Perspective” USDA, Forest Service, October 2007. (PDF)
  4. Council on Environmental Quality, NEPA regulations, 40 C.F.R. Parts 1500 through 1508. (PDF)
  5. Defense Department, authority to participate in wetland mitigation and conservation banks, 10 U.S.C. Secs. 2694b and 2694c (PDF)
  6. Department of the Interior, “A Strategy for Improving the Mitigation Policies and Practices of The Department of the Interior,” April 2014. (PDF)
  7. Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order No. 3330 “Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of the Interior” Oct. 31, 2013. (PDF)
  8. DOT, Federal Highway Administration, Mitigation of Impacts to Wetlands and Natural Habitat regulations, 23 C.F.R. Part 777. (PDF)
  9. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  Abstracts Related to Water Quality Trading. (PDF)
  10. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  Case Studies of Water Quality Trading Being Used for Compliance with Nutrient NPDES Permit Limits, December 2013. (LINK) (PDF)
  11. Endangered Species Act, 
    a. Sec. 7 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1536) (PDF)
    b. Sec. 10 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1539) (PDF)
  12. Environmental Law Institute. 2005 Status Report on Compensatory Mitigation in the United States. Washington, DC, 2006. (PDF)
  13. EPA Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources, 40 C.F.R. Part 230, Subpart J. (PDF)
  14. EPA Sulfur Dioxide Allowance System, 40 C.F.R. 73. (PDF)
  15. Executive Order 13563—Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, Jan. 18, 2011. (PDF)
  16. Executive Order 13604—Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects, March 28, 2012. (PDF)
  17. Executive Order 13186. Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds, signed Jan. 10, 2001 (Sec. 3(e)(2) restore and enhance the habitat of migratory birds, as practicable). (PDF)
  18. Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (PDF)
  19. The Freshwater Trust. BasinScout: Watershed Restoration Methodology, Info Sheet. (PDF)
  20. The Freshwater Trust. Water Quality Trading: Program Overview, Info Sheet. (PDF)
  21. Forest Trends, Ecosystem Marketplace Initiative. Gaining Depth: State of Watershed Investment 2014 Report:   (LINK) (PDF)
  22. Forest Trends, The Katoomba Group and UNEP.  “Payments for Ecosystem Services: Getting Started – A Primer.” 2008 (PDF)
  23. Kiesecker, Joseph M, et. al. “Development by Design: blending landscape-level planning with the mitigation hierarchy.” Front. Ecol. Environ. Doi: 10.1890/090005, 2009. (PDF)
  24. Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. “Lake Clarity Crediting Program Handbook: For Lake Tahoe TMDL Implementation”, August 2015. (PDF)
  25. Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. “Lake Tahoe TMDL Program Management System Handbook: Guiding Efforts to Restore Lake Tahoe’s Historic Clarity”, December 2014. (PDF)
  26. LaRocco, Gina L.; Deal, Robert L. “Giving credit where credit is due: increasing landowner compensation for ecosystem services” USDA, Forest Service, 2011. (PDF)
  27. Madsen, Becca et al. “Update: State of Biodiversity Markets.” Washington, DC. Forest Trends. 2011. (PDF)
  28. Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act - As amended 2007. (PDF)
  29. Maillett and Simon: “Characteristics of Existing Federal Conservation Banks” USFWS Discussion Paper, September 2007. (PDF)
  30. Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S. C. 1361). (PDF)
  31. McKenney, Bruce and Joseph M. Kiesecker, “Policy Development for Biodiversity Offsets: a Review of Offset Frameworks,” Environmental Management 45:165, 2010. (PDF)
  32. National Association of Conservation Districts, “Markets, Trading and Credits: New Opportunities for Conservation Districts” Spring 2009. (PDF)
  33. National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) (PDF)
  34. National Marine Fisheries Service regulations, 50 C.F.R. Parts 222. (PDF)
  35. The National Network on Water Quality Trading. Building a Water Quality Trading Program: Options and Considerations, 2015.  (LINK) (PDF)
  36. The National Network on Water Quality Trading. Building a Water Quality Trading Program: Options and Considerations, 2015, Executive Summary.  (LINK) (PDF)
  37. The National Network on Water Quality Trading. Building a Water Quality Trading Program: Options and Considerations – Sector Summaries:
    a. Agriculture Community Focus Summary by American Farmland Trust (PDF)
    b. Environmental Community Focus Summary by Environmental Law and Policy Center (PDF)
    c. State Perspectives by the Association of Clean Water Administrators (PDF)
    d. NACWA Perspectives on Water Quality Trading (PDF)
    e. Trading Practitioner Focus Summary by Troutman Sanders (PDF)
  38. The National Network on Water Quality Trading, National Network Overview, June 10, 2015. (PDF)
  39. NOAA Catch Share Policy, 2010. (PDF)
  40. NRCS & USFWS, “Partnership Agreement Between the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and the US Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies”, April 2007. (PDF)
  41. Presidential Memorandum—Modernizing Federal Infrastructure Review and Permitting Regulations, Policies and Procedures, May 17, 2013. (PDF)
  42. Presidential Memorandum—Transforming Our Nation’s Electric Grid Through Improved Siting, Permitting and Review, June 7, 2013. (PDF)
  43. Section 314(b) of the 2004 National Defense Authorization Act (Pub. L. 108–136) [authorizing USACE regulations for onsite, offsite and in-lieu fee mitigation] (PDF)
  44. U.S. EPA.  Water Quality Trading Assessment Handbook:  Can Water Quality Trading Advance Your Watershed’s Goals?, EPA 841-B-04-001,  November 2004.   (LINK) (PDF)
  45. U.S. EPA.  Water Quality Trading Policy, Office of Water, January 13, 2003. (PDF)
  46. U.S. EPA.  Water Quality Trading Program Fact Sheets, Appendices to Water Quality Trading Toolkit for Permit Writers, EPA 833-R-07-004, Published August 2007, Updated June 2009. (PDF)
  47. U.S. EPA.  Water Quality Trading Toolkit for Permit Writers, EPA 833-R-07-004, Published August 2007, Updated June 2009. (PDF)
  48. EPA & USDA, “Partnership Agreement Between the US Department of Agriculture and the US Environmental Protection Agency Regarding Water Quality Trading”, November 2013. (PDF)
  49. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.) (PDF)
  50. USFWS “Conservation Banking: Incentives for Stewardship” July 2009 (PDF)
  51. USFWS “Guidance for Establishment, Use, and Operation of Conservation Banks” issued May 8, 2003, 68 Fed. Reg. 24753. (PDF)
  52. USFWS, “Mitigation Policy,” 46 Fed. Reg. 7643, Jan. 23, 1981 [in process of being updated]. (PDF)
  53. USFWS. Programmatic Formal Consultation for US Army Corps of Engineers 404 Permitted Projects that May Affect Four Endangered Plant Species on the Santa Rosa Plain, California. 1998 (PDF)
  54. USFWS. Programmatic Formal Consultation on Issuance of 404 Permits for Projects with Relatively Small Effects on Listed Vernal Pool Crustaceans Within the Jurisdiction of the Sacramento Field Office, California. 1996. (PDF)
  55. USFWS, Strategic Habitat Conservation: Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Fact Sheet, July 2012. (PDF)
  56. USACE.  Model “Operational Guidelines for Creating or Restoring Wetlands that are Ecologically Self-Sustaining” for Aquatic Resource Impacts Under the corps Regulatory Program Pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Memorandum to the Field. Oct. 29, 2003. (PDF)
  57. USACE “National Wetland Mitigation Banking Study: Technical and Procedural Support to Mitigation Banking Guidance” IWR Technical Paper WMB-TP-2, December 1995. (PDF)
  58. USACE Wetland Compensatory Mitigation Regulations, 33 C.F.R. Part 332. (PDF)
  59. USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, “Natural Resources Credit Trading Reference,” October 2011. (PDF)
  60. Woodward, Richard T. and Ronald A. Kaiser. Market Structures for U.S. Water Quality Trading. Review of Agricultural Economics 24(2): 366-383, 2011.  (LINK) (PDF)
  61. Working Lands Investment Partners LLC, “Environmental Credit Markets: An Investment Primer” October 2009. (PDF)
  62. World Resources Institute, “Current and Potential Roles for Government in Facilitating Water Quality Markets”. (PDF)
  63. World Resources Institute, “How Can Conservation Programs Effectively Interact with Environmental Markets?” (PDF)

Web Resources:
Further Reading:
April 27, 2015|By

Regional Outlook presentations and resources related to Water Quality Markets


CHESAPEAKE BAY REGION:

PRESENTATIONS:


RESOURCES:

  1. BBNA, “Maryland Close to Launching ‘Gold Standard' Nutrient Trading Program, State Official Says,” 182 DEN A-10, Sept. 19, 2014 (Copyright 2014 by Bloomberg BNA. Reproduced with permission.) (PDF)
  2. Branosky, Evan, Cy Jones, and Mindy Selman. “Comparison Tables of State Nutrient Trading Programs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed” World Resources Institute, May 2011. (PDF)
  3. Chesapeake Bay Commission. “Nutrient Credit Trading for the Chesapeake Bay: An Economic Study.” May 2012. (PDF)
  4. Chesapeake Bay Program, “Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement”. 2014. (PDF)
  5. Code of Virginia. Chesapeake Bay Watershed Nutrient Credit Exchange Program, Title 62.1. Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors, Chapter 3.1. State Water Control Law, Article 4.02. (PDF)
  6. Code of Virginia. Nutrient credit use and additional offsite options for construction activities, Title 62.1. Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors, Chapter 3.1. State Water Control Law, § 62.1-44.15:35. (PDF)
  7. Ecosystem Services Working Group, “Ecosystem Services Working Group Final Report”. October 2011. (PDF)
  8. Executive Order 13508—Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration, May 12, 2009. (PDF)
  9. Local Government Advisory Committee and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. “Our Waters, Our Towns: Local Governments’ Role in the Watershed Implementation Plans.” 2011. (PDF)
  10. National Water Quality Trading Alliance, Memo on the Draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, March 17, 2014. (PDF)
  11. Nobles, Alicia L., Hillary D. Goldstein, Jonathan L. Goodall, G. Mitchell Fitch. Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation & Research. Investigating the Cost-Effectiveness of Nutrient Credit Use As an Option for VDOT Stormwater Permitting Requirements, VCTIR 15-R9, August 2014.   (LINK)(PDF)
  12. Ribaudo, Marc, Jeffrey Savage, and Marcel Aillery, “An Economic Assessment of Policy Options to Reduce Agricultural Pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay” USDA, Economic Research Service Report No. 166, June 2014. (PDF)
  13. Sample Nutrient Credit Assignment Agreement. (PDF)
  14. Slater, James E., Jr. and Glenn D. Edwards. Case Study: Effective Forest Banking: Forest Conservation in Carroll County, Maryland, from A Sustainable Chesapeake: Better Models for Conservation, The Conservation Fund. (PDF)
  15. Virginia Department of Transportation. The Purchase of Nutrient Credits to address Post-Construction Water Quality Reduction Requirements for Construction Activities, Instructional and Informational Memo, OT IIM-LD-251.2, January 2015. (PDF)
  16. World Resources Institute.  Comparison and Effectiveness of Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Trading Program Policies, USDA Office of Environmental Markets, 2014. (PDF)

Web Resources:


GREAT LAKES REGION:

PRESENTATIONS:


RESOURCES:

  1. Fox P Trade. Project Overview and Application Packet Fact Sheets, Adapting and Applying Water Quality Tracking in the Lower Fox Watershed, August 2015. (PDF)
  2. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  A Water Quality Trading How To Manual:  Guidance on developing a water quality trading strategy based on protocols specified in “Guidance for Implementing Water Quality Trading in WPDES Permits”, Guidance Number: 3400-2013-03, 2013.   (LINK) (PDF)
  3. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Guidance for Implementing Water Quality Trading in WPDES Permits, Guidance Number: 3800-2013-04, 2013   (LINK) (PDF)
  4. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Water Quality Trading Factsheet, 2013.  (LINK) (PDF)


Web Resources:


MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND GULF COAST REGION:

PRESENTATIONS:


RESOURCES:

  1. Perez, Michelle, Sara Walker, and Cy Jones.  Nutrient Trading in the MRB:  A Feasibility Study for Using Large-Scale Interstate Nutrient Trading in the Mississippi River Basin to Help Address Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, World Resources Institute,  March 2013. (PDF)
  2. Ren, W., H. Tian, B. Tao, J. Yang, S. Pan, W.-J. Cai, S. E. Lohrenz, R. He, and C. S. Hopkinson, Large increase in dissolved inorganic carbon flux from the Mississippi River to Gulf of Mexico due to climatic and anthropogenic changes over the 21st century, J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 120, 724–736, doi:10.1002/2014JG002761, 2015.  (PDF)
  3. Tao, B., H. Tian, W. Ren, J. Yang, Q. Yang, R. He, W. Cai, and S. Lohrenz, Increasing Mississippi river discharge throughout the 21st century influenced by changes in climate, land use, and atmospheric CO2, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 4978–4986, doi:10.1002/2014GL060361, 2014. (PDF)
  4. Tian, H. et al., Climate extremes dominating seasonal and interannual variations in carbon export from the Mississippi River Basin, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 29, doi:10.1002/ 2014GB005068, 2015. (PDF)
  5. Wabash River Watershed Water Quality Trading Feasibility Study - Final Report. 2011. Prepared by the Conservation Technology Information Center for USEPA Targeted Watershed Grant WS-00E71501-0. (LINK)(PDF)


Web Resources:


Further Reading:

  • Burton C. English.  A Spatial Assessment of Possible Water Quality Trading Markets in Tennessee. Review of Agricultural Economics-Volume 30, Number 4, pp. 711-728.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND CALIFORNIA REGION:

PRESENTATIONS:


RESOURCES:

  1. Clean Water Services. The Tualatin River Watershed:  Balancing People, Nature, and Water, Info Sheet. (PDF)
  2. Envirotech Publications, Inc. The Water Report, May 15, 2014. Water Quality & Temperature Trading in the Tualatin Basin.  Laura Porter, Bruce Roll, Raj Kapur, and Anil Devnani, Clean Water Services (Hillsboro, Oregon)] (PDF)
  3. The Freshwater Trust. Rogue River Basin Riparian Restoration Program, Info Sheet.  (PDF)
  4. Tree for All. Info Sheet. (PDF)
  5. Willamette Partnership and The Freshwater Trust. Draft Regional Recommendations for the Pacific Northwest on Water Quality Trading, Multi-State Agency Guidance for Water Quality Trading: Joint Regional Water Quality Trading Agreement (69-3A75-12-255) August 2014, Third Draft. (PDF)


Web Resources:

April 27, 2015|By

Economics presentations and resources related to Water Quality Markets


PRESENTATIONS:


Credit Pricing & Accounting

Uncertainty & Thin Markets

Addressing Risk & Liability

Program Cost & Social Conditions

Linkages to Other Markets & Stacking

RESOURCES:

  1. Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). “The Quiet Revolution in Expectations of Corporate Environmental Performance: Emerging Trends in the Uptake of Ecosystem Services.” April 2012. (PDF)
  2. Chan, Kai, Lara Hoshizaki, Brian Klinkenberg. “Ecosystem Services in Conservation Planning: Targeted Benefits vs. Co-Benefits or Costs?” PLoS ONE: Sept 2011. (PDF)
  3. Christianson, Laura, John Tyndall, Matthew Helmers.  Financial Comparison of Seven Nitrate Reduction Strategies for Midwestern Agricultural Drainage, Water Resources and Economics, 2-3, 2013, pp. 30–56. (PDF)
  4. Climate Action Reserve, “Nutrient Management Project Protocol Credit Stacking Subcommittee Meeting #1 Memo” July 12, 2011. (PDF)
  5. Cooley, David and Lydia Olander. Stacking Ecosystem Services Payments: Risks and Solutions, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Working Paper, NI WP 11-04, September 2011. (PDF)
  6. Doyle, Martin W. et al, “Optimizing the Scale of Markets for Water Quality Trading” September 2014. (PDF)
  7. EcoAgricultural Partners and USDA Office of Environmental Markets. Farm of the Future Case Study Series: April 2011: a. “Big River and Salmon Creek Forests (Northern California)” (PDF) b. “Buck Island Ranch (Northern Everglades, Florida)” (PDF) c. “Mudford Farm (Chesapeake Bay, Maryland)” (PDF) d. EcoAgricultural Partners and USDA Office of Environmental Markets. “Sacramento River Ranch (Yolo County, California)” (PDF) e. “The Watson Partners Farm (Minnesota River Basin and the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative)” (PDF)
  8. Ertimur, Yonca, Jennifer Francis, Amanda Gonzales, and Katherine Schipper.  Financial Reporting for Cap-and-Trade Emissions Reduction Programs, Duke University, December 2009. (PDF)
  9. Faeth, Paul. “Fertile Ground: Nutrient Trading's Potential to Cost-Effectively Improve Water Quality” World Resources Institute, May 2000. (PDF)
  10. Fox, Jessica, Royal C. Gardner, and Todd Maki. “Stacking Opportunities and Risks in Environmental Markets” Environmental Law Reporter, 41 ELR 10121, February 2011. (PDF)
  11. Gardner, Royal C. and Jessica Fox.  "The Legal Status of Environmental Credit Stacking", 40 Ecology L.Q., 2013. (LINK)(PDF)
  12. Hartwell, Ray, Bruce Aylward, Sue Lurie, Sally Duncan, Katrina Van Dis, “Ecosystem Service Market Development: The Role and Opportunity for Finance” March 2010. (PDF)
  13. Hook, Patrick W. and Spencer T. Shadle, “Navigating Wetland Mitigation Markets: A Study of Risks Facing Entrepreneurs and Regulators.” December 2013. (PDF)
  14. Layne, Valerie, “Layering Multiple Credit Types in Mitigation Banks” National Wetlands Newsletter, Vol. 33, Issue 1, 2011. (*starts on p. 8) (PDF)
  15. Murray, B. and T. Vegh.  Incentivizing the Reduction of Pollution at Dairies: How to Address Additionality When Multiple Environmental Credit Payments Are Combined, NI WP 15-01. Durham, NC: Duke University, 2015. (LINK)(PDF)
  16. Niemi, E., Lee, K., Raterman, T. “Net economic benefits of using ecosystem restoration to meet stream temperature requirements.” ECONorthwest. (PDF)
  17. Rees, Gwendolen and Dr. Kurt Stephenson. Transaction costs of nonpoint source water quality credits: Implications for trading programs in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USDA, Office of Environmental Markets, November 2014. (PDF)
  18. Ribaudo, Marc, LeRoy Hansen, Daniel Hellerstein, and Catherine Greene, “The Use of Markets to Increase Private Investment in Environmental Stewardship” USDA, Economic Research Service Report No. 64, September 2008. (PDF)
  19. Robertson, Morgan, Todd K BenDor, Rebecca Lave, Adam Riggsbee, JB Ruhl, and Martin Doyle.  "Stacking Ecosystem Services", Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2014; doi:10.1890/110292. (PDF)
  20. Scarlett, Lynn and James Boyd, “Ecosystem Services: Quantification, Policy Applications, and Current Federal Capabilities” Resources for the Future, March 2011. (PDF)
  21. Shortle, James, David Abler, Zach Kaufman, Kate Zip.  Implications of Lags in Pollution Delivery for Efficient Agricultural Waste Load Allocations and the Design of Water Quality Trading Programs, Washington, DC: USDA, 2014. (PDF)
  22. Smith, M., de Groot, D., Perrot-Maîte, D. and Bergkamp, G. (2006). “Pay – Establishing payments for watershed services.” IUCN, 2008. (PDF)
  23. Suter, J.F., Spraggon, J.M. and G.L. Poe, Water Quality Trading Experiments: Thin Markets and Lumpy Capital investments, GWF Discussion Paper 1328, Global Water Forum, Canberra, Australia, 2013. (LINK)(PDF)
  24. Suter, J.F., Spraggon, J.M. and G.L. Poe. Thin and Lumpy: An Experimental Investigation of Water Quality Trading, Paper presented at the Agricultural & Applied Economics Associations 2011 AAEA & NAREA Joint Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 24- 26, 2011. (LINK)(PDF)
  25. Tiedemann, Rob, Ph.D., Hal Anderson, Integrated Watershed Solutions, Inc. North Alkali Drain Water Quality Improvement Pilot Project, Project Summary and Report of Preliminary Results, Prepared for Members of the Board of Directors, Lower Boise Watershed Council, Inc. January 6, 2015 (PDF)
  26. Walker, Sara and Mindy Selman, “Addressing Risk and Uncertainty in Water Quality Trading Markets”. World Resources Institute, February 2014. (PDF)
  27. White, Wayne and Jemma Penelope, “Stacking and Unstacking: The Economics, the Conservation, and the Conversation,” National Wetlands Newsletter, Vol. 35, Issue 2, 2013. (PDF)

Web Resources:


Further Reading:

  • Adoption Potential of Nitrate Mitigation Practices: An Ecosystem Services Approach.  International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 2013.  DOI: 10.1080/14735903.2013.835604
April 27, 2015|By

Tools and Technology presentations and resources related to Water Quality Markets


PRESENTATIONS:


Conservation Practice Evaluation

EnviroAtlas

Information Resources & Training

Tools for Trading


RESOURCES:

  1. Boyd, James and Lisa Wainger, “Measuring Ecosystem Service Benefits: The Use of Landscape Analysis to Evaluate Environmental Trades and Compensation,” Resources for the Future, April 2003. (PDF)
  2. Environmental Incentives. “Road RAM User Manual, V2: Road Rapid Assessment Methodology”, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, May 2015. (PDF)
  3. Geospatial Platform. “Federal Geographic Data Committee Launches New Geospatial Website” [Press Release]. (PDF)
  4. Great Lakes Commission. Point To Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Checklist Template (LINK)(PDF)
  5. Kieser and Associates.  A Scientifically Defensible Process for the Exchange of Pollutant Credits under Minnesota’s Proposed Water Quality Trading Rules.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. June 2009. (PDF)
  6. NEPAssist Fact Sheet (PDF)
  7. RIBITS: Credit Classifications (PDF)
  8. RIBITS: Finding Credits (PDF)
  9. RIBITS: Getting Started with RIBITS (PDF)
  10. RIBITS: Understanding the RIBITS Credit Ledger (PDF)
  11. RIBITS: Utilizing RIBITS Reporting Tools (PDF)
  12. Richardson et al. “Integrated stream and wetland restoration: a watershed approach to improved water quality on the landscape.” Ecol. Engineering 37: 25-39. 2011. (PDF)

Web Resources:


Further Reading:

April 27, 2015|By

Stormwater presentations and resources related to Water Quality Markets


PRESENTATIONS:


RESOURCES:

  1. American Rivers. “Funding Green Infrastructure in Pennsylvania: Funding the Future of Stormwater Management.” (PDF)
  2. American Rivers. “Weathering Change: Policy Reforms that Save Money and Make Communities Safer.” (PDF)
  3. Arrandale, Tom. “The Price of Greening Stormwater.” Governing. April 2012. (PDF)
  4. Branosky, Evan.  From Gray to Green:  Stormwater Trading in Washington D.C. District Department of the Environment, River Network, River Voices, pp. 7-8, 2015. (PDF)
  5. District Department of the Environment, Stormwater Retention, Credit Trading & RiverSmart Rewards (brochure), 2014. (PDF)
  6. EPRI. Butler County Board of Commissioners, from Case Studies of Water Quality Trading Being Used for Compliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Limits, EPRI, 2013, Section 3. (PDF)
  7. Fowler, Lara B., Matthew B. Royer, and Jamison E. Colburn. Addressing Death by a Thousand Cuts: Legal and Policy Innovations to Address Nonpoint Source Runoff, Choices Magazine,  3rd Quarter 2013.  (LINK) (PDF)
  8. The GreenSeams Program. “Preserve Guide 2001-2010 Ten Years in Review.” (PDF)
  9. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). “Fresh Coast Green Solutions: Weaving Milwaukee’s Green and Grey Infrastructure into a Sustainable Future.” (PDF)
  10. PLANYC and NYC Environmental Protection. “New York City Green Infrastructure Plan: A Sustainable Strategy for Clean Waterways.” (PDF)
  11. Plevan, Andrea, Megan Burke, Jared Oswald, James Klang, and Joanna Allerhand.  Pollutant Suitability Evaluation for a Water Quality Credit Trading Program in the Central Big Sioux Watershed, Moody County Conservation District. Topical Report RSI-2388, October 2013. (PDF)
  12. Seters, Tim Van, Christy Graham, Lisa Rocha (Toronto and Region Conservation) and Mariko Uda, Chris Kennedy (University of Toronto, Department of Civil Engineering). Assessment of Life Cycle Costs for Low Impact Development Stormwater Management Practices: Final Report, 2013.  (LINK) (PDF)
  13. Talberth, John, Erin Gray, Evan Branosky and Todd Gartner. “Insights from the Field: Forests for Water.” World Resources Institute Issue Brief 9: Feb 2012. (PDF)
  14. US Environmental Protection Agency.  Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework, Memorandum, May 2012.  (LINK) (PDF)
  15. Valderrama, Alisa and Larry Levine. Financing Stormwater Retrofits in Philadelphia and Beyond. Natural Resources Defense Council, February 2012.  (LINK) (PDF)
  16. Valderrama, Alisa, Lawrence Levine, Eron Bloomgarden, Ricardo Bayon, Kelly Wachowicz, Charlotte Kaiser. Issue Brief - Creating Clean Water Cash Flows: Developing Private Markets for Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Philadelphia. NRDC, EKO Asset Management Partners, The Nature Conservancy. Funded by a grant from: Rockefeller Foundation, February 2013. (LINK)  (PDF)
  17. Wainger, Lisa A. and James S. Shortle, Local Innovations in Water Protection: Experiments with Economic Incentives, Choices Magazine,  3rd Quarter 2013. (LINK)  (PDF)
  18. Willamette Partnership, Pinchot Institute for Conservation, and World Resources Institute, In It Together: A How-To Reference for Building Point-Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Programs - PART I, 2012. (LINK)  (PDF)

Web Resources:

April 27, 2015|By

Water Quantity presentations and resources related to Water Quality Markets

 

PRESENTATIONS:


RESOURCES:

  1. Amundsen, Ole M., Will Allen, and Kris Hoellen.  Green Infrastructure Planning:  Recent Advances and Applications, PAS Memo, May/June 2009.  (LINK) (PDF)
  2. Buranen, Margaret.  Milwaukee Goes Green and Grey for Stormwater Management, Stormwater Journal, May 2012. (LINK) (PDF)
  3. Hrobar, Jessica. Innovative Program Connects Wastewater Utilities and Nature, Water World, v. 4, Issue 4, (undated).  (LINK) (PDF)
  4. Leonard Rice Engineers, Inc.  Holistic Approach to Sustainable Water Management in Northwest Douglas County, Colorado Water Conservation Board, January 2007.  (LINK) (PDF)
  5. Mammoth Trading, “About Us”. (LINK) (PDF)
  6. NOAA. Resilient Land and Waters Initiative, Tranche 1, April 21, 2015.  (LINK) (PDF)
  7. Oregon State University.  Oregon’s Water Markets, Institute For Water And Watersheds And Institute For Natural Resources, April, 2012 (LINK) (PDF)


Web Resources:



April 27, 2015|By

Water Quality Markets: Resources


In 2015 the USDA and EPA cosponsored the National Workshop on Water Quality Markets. This event was hosted by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and coordinated by The Conservation Fund. The Workshop highlighted recent progress in water quality trading across the country with an emphasis on policy, resources, and tool development. The compendium of resources associated with this program - organized by theme - is available below.


Trading Fundamentals VIEW

Resources on core elements and major aspects of water quality markets and trading programs
 

Regional Outlook VIEW

Resources on existing water quality trading activities across the United States, highlighting the below regions:
  • Chesapeake Bay Region
  • Great Lakes Region
  • Mississippi River Basin and Gulf Coast Region
  • Pacific Northwest & California Region


Economics VIEW

Resources on analysis and insights into water quality markets, economic trends, and supply and demand as well as on other water market types, including watershed services, water rights, and links to species and habitat markets

Tools and Technology VIEW

Resources on tools, underlying science, and emerging technologies employed by various programs as well as opportunities and challenges for broader use in the field of water quality

Stormwater VIEW

Resources on a cross-section of existing and emerging stormwater trading programs, examine regulatory drivers for stormwater offsets, and explore different stormwater trading program designs

Water Quantity VIEW

Resources on legal, economic, business, and regulatory aspects of water quantity trading for managing ecological and transboundary stream flow impacts in complex regulatory regimes

 

More Information:

Please contact Chris Hartley, USDA Office of Environmental Markets (chartley@oce.usda.gov | 202-690-0832 ) OR Katie Allen, The Conservation Fund's Conservation Leadership Network (kallen@conservationfund.org | 304-876-7925) with any questions or to suggest additional resources.


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February 4, 2015|By Ross Feldman
As the hub of the Balancing Nature & Commerce Community of Practice, this page features new tools, resources, and innovative strategies being implemented across the nation that can support your own efforts! If you’d like to receive news items like these in a periodic e-newsletter, please contact Katie Allen! Please also share your own experiences, exciting accomplishments, and/or resources that may benefit others!

Rural Community Highlight

Haysi, Virginia — Where Your Break Begins

Set in rural southwest Virginia, the gateway to Breaks Interstate Park, Haysi is a little place with a lot going for them.  The Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail, The Virginia Coal Heritage Trail, Rivers to Ridges Artisan Trail, Round the Mountain Artisan Network, 76 Bicycle Route and Great Eastern Trail all link to downtown Haysi as well as many other communities–but yet Haysi was not realizing the potential of having thousands of visitors pass through every year.  

In 2011, The Conservation Fund and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, provided Haysi with a recommendations report for improvements the town can make to bolster tourism development, create jobs, and define a sense of identity. 

Since the assessment, Haysi has been hard at work. They will soon begin work on building facade improvements, streescape improvements and constructions of a Riverfront Trail–all part of their downtown revitalization plan. As a place where all trails converge, the town designated their old theater building as The Russell Fork Trail Center to support the trails and house businesses.

“I have found that its best for us to get involved regionally, working with other localities, agencies to get the most out of the time I have to work on tourism development.” -Mayor of Haysi, Larry Yates

Check out Haysi at their new website: http://www.haysivirginia.gov/.

Funding Opportunities
Are you looking to fund community projects in your area? Check here periodically for an updated list of national funding opportunities that you can use to enhance your rural community.

Publications & Resources
Look here for new publications, websites, and tools that are available to assist you in your rural community’s planning and project delivery.

February 4, 2015|By Ross Feldman
Are you looking to fund community projects in your area? Check here periodically for an updated list of national funding opportunities that you can use to enhance your rural community.

Children, Youth, and Families At Risk – Sustainable Community Projects
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA announces the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk funding program to improve the quality and quantity of comprehensive community-based programs for at-risk children, youth, and families supported by the Cooperative Extension System. Application Deadline: April 11, 2014

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants
FY 2013 TIGER Discretionary Grants are for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. Larger projects of national or regional significance which DOT determines demonstrate achievement of several of the strategic goals, as well as the project readiness criterion, could be considered for grants larger than those typically awarded in recent rounds of TIGER. Application Deadline: April 28, 2014

Hart Family Fund for Small Towns
Grants from the Hart Family Fund for Small Towns are intended to encourage preservation at the local level by providing seed money for preservation projects in small towns. Grants generally range from $2,500 to $10,000. Application Deadline: May 1, 2014

National Association of Realtors Smart Growth Grants
NAR’s Smart Growth Action Grants support a wide range of land-use related activities. To be considered, activities should support the core purpose of NAR’s Smart Growth Progam: to support realtor engagement in land-use related issues with the primary goals of affecting public policies that support a more sustainable development paradigm while raising the profile of realtors as community leaders and enhancing relationships with elected officials. Application Deadlines: April 30, July 31, and October 15, 2014

Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD)
CIRD provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality.  CIRD works with communities with populations of 50,000 or less, and offers annual competitive funding to as many as four small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-a-half day community design workshop.  With support from a wide range of design, planning and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government to develop actionable solutions to the community’s pressing design challenges. Application Deadline: May 6, 2014

NEA Challenge America Fast-Track
The Challenge America Fast-Track category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to under-served populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Grants are available for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development. Application Deadline: May 8, 2014

2015 National Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program
The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council seeks innovative (new, cutting-edge or builds upon existing studies) grant proposals for program development that address the following priority issues: Making Urban Trees and Forests More Resilient ot the Impacts of Natural Disasters and the long-term Impacts of Climate Change, Green Infrastructure Jobs Analysis, Utilizing Green Infrastructure to Manage and Mitigate Stormwater to Improve Water Quality. Application Deadline: May 15, 2014

NEA Art Works
To support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. Application Deadline: July 24, 2014

National Park Service Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program
Do you have an idea for a local conservation and outdoor recreation project, but need assistance to move that vision into reality? You do not have to be located near a National Park to receive assistance. Application Deadline: August 1, 2014

People For Bikes Community Grant Program
The People for Bikes Community Grant Program provides funding for important and influential projects that leverage federal funding and build momentum for bicycling in communities across the U.S. These projects include bike paths and rail trails, as well as mountain bike trails, bike parks, BMX facilities, and large-scale bicycle advocacy initiatives. Application Deadline: August 1, 2014

Land and Water Conservation Fund State and Local Assistance Program
The National Park Service provides matching grants to states and through states to local government for the acquisition and development of land and water for outdoor recreation purposes. Application Deadline: August 22, 2014

State Historic Preservation Opportunity Historic Preservation Fund Grants
To provide matching grants to States for the identification, evaluation, and protection of historic properties by such means as survey, planning technical assistance, acquisition, development, and certain Federal tax incentives available for historic properties.  Application Deadline: December 31, 2014

HUD Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants
Applications must propose to plan for the revitalization of a severely distressed public and/or HUD-assisted multifamily housing project located in a distressed neighborhood into a viable, mixed-income community. Individual grants may be for up to a maximum of $500,000. Applications Deadline: CHECK BACK FOR 2015 DEADLINE

NEA Our Town
Organizations may apply for creative placemaking projects that contribute to the livability of communities and place the arts at their core. An organization may request a grant amount from $25,000 to $200,000. Application Deadline: CHECK BACK FOR 2015 DEADLINE

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Fund
American Hiking Society’s National Trails Fund is the only privately funded, national grants program dedicated solely to building and protecting hiking trails. Grants value between $500 to $5,000 to improve hiking access or hiker safety. Application Deadline: CHECK BACK FOR 2015 DEADLINE

February 4, 2015|By Ross Feldman

“Thriving, Not Just Surviving”


Over the past 15 years, The Conservation Fund’s Conservation Leadership Network has offered assistance specifically to gateway communities through our Balancing Nature and Commerce Program. Our goal is help these communities forge solutions for both conservation and economic development goals.


The program offers national and place-based workshops, resources and different types of community assessments as well as a community of practice for participating communities. Click on the links below to learn more about our program offerings. 

Workshops

The program is comprised of national and place-based workshops that focus on the economics, community character, natural resources and partnership building skills necessary for creating sustainable communities. Please contact CLN if you would like to set up a workshop for your community.  Or, view our upcoming course list to find out if there is a workshop scheduled.

Livability and Sustainable Tourism Assessments

The Balancing Nature and Commerce workshops also facilitate livability and sustainable tourism assessments that provide evaluation and recommendations for existing and future nature-based and cultural heritage tourism opportunities. In addition, participants are introduced to trends in sustainable agriculture, alternative transportation and renewable energy.  Learn more >>

Community of Practice

Check out the hub page for our Balancing Nature & Commerce Community of Practice, featuring new tools, resources and innovative strategies being implemented across the nation that can support your own efforts. Visit Community of Practice >> 

Publications & Resources

We provide a list of new publications, websites and tools to assist you in your community’s planning and project delivery.  Learn more >> 

Funding Opportunities

Are you looking to fund community projects in your area? Check here periodically for an updated list of national funding opportunities that you can use to enhance your community. Learn more >>

Success Stories

Check out Our Projects to learn about how our Balancing Commerce and Nature Program has helped these communities thrive.

You can also view this video by the PA Wilds team, who attended both a national and place-based workshop back in 2007.  Learn about their progress and inspire your own community team!

Download the Balancing Nature and Commerce brochure here. 
February 4, 2015|By Ross Feldman
Look here for new publications, websites, and tools that are available to assist you in your rural community’s planning and project delivery.

About Town: Building Revenue for Communities
Financial strain can be a burden on local governments, but it can also be a force for change, encouraging officials to streamline operations, reduce waste, and seek reliable ways to build stable revenues while spurring economic growth. This report takes a look at six rural communities in the Rocky Mountain West which recognize the value of downtowns and mixed use centers, which are bringing excellent revenue to these cities and counties.

Archived Webinars from the American Farmland Trust
Food systems planning is an emerging field to support, facilitate and promote local, regional and sustainable agriculture. The American Farmland Trust has put together a series of educational webinars to take a look at systems approaches for county and community-based planning, and state and regional planning to improve and maintain agricultural viability.

Asset-Based Economic Development and Building Sustainable Rural Communities

This series of three ICMA briefing papers showcase how small communities are tackling sustainability and smart growth through asset-based economic development. The first paper defines asset-based economic development and provides several case studies on industry and industrial clusters. The second paper looks as natural resource strengths and working landscapes. The third paper examines historic and cultural resources as well as existing infrastructure such as Main Streets and town squares.

Investment Ready Places: A Field Guide to Community Building in the New American Frontier
The small towns and cities of America are once again becoming the new frontier for development. Investment Ready Places are those communities that are well positioned to respond to retooling. The report lists six characteristics of Investment Ready Places that need to be in place to attract productive investments and steps communities can use to acquire these characteristics.

Economic Profile System-Human Dimensions Tool Kit from Headwaters Economics
The updated Economic Profile System-Human Dimensions Toolkit (EPS-HDT) helps decision makers access and analyze large amounts of information about their community or anywhere in the United States. EPS-HDT was created jointly by Headwaters Economics, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service.

Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities
A guide to programs from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities and the USDA that rural communities can use to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments, and enhance quality of life.

Lasting Value: Open Space Planning and Preservation Successes
More than one million acres of forests, farms, and other rural lands are converted to development every year. Can preservation happen? Yes, but its no walk in the park. Lasting Value celebrates the selected cities, towns, and counties that excel at preserving natural areas, farmland, and other types of open space.

Livability Literature Review: A Synthesis of Current Practice
This comprehensive report from the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) describes how livability is understood, provides examples of livable communities in practice and adds clarity to several concepts.

Locally Owned Businesses Can Help Communities Thrive And Survive Climate Change
Cities where small, locally owned businesses account for a relatively large share of the economy have stronger social networks, more engaged citizens, and better success solving problems, according to several recently published studies. And in the face of climate change, those are just the sort of traits that communities most need if they are to survive massive storms, adapt to changing conditions, find new ways of living more lightly on the planet, and, most important, nurture a vigorous citizenship that can drive major changes in policy.

Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability
This book provides a far-reaching follow-up to the pathbreaking Urban Sprawl and Public Health, published in 2004, offering a fresh and comprehensive look at the adverse effects of what we have constructed and the positive benefits of well designed build environments.  Edited by Andrew L. Dannenberg, Howard Frumkin, and Richard J. Jackson.

Model Design Manual for Living Streets
This manual focuses on all users and all modes, seeking to achieve balanced street design that accommodates cars while ensuring that pedestrians, cyclists and transit users can travel safely and comfortably. This manual also incorporates features to make streets lively, beautiful, economically vibrant as well as environmentally sustainable.

Outdoor Nation Special Report: Technology and Social Media
Outdoor Nation Special Report: Technology and Social Media provides an in-depth analysis of how the Outdoor Nation community of young ‘Outsiders” is interacting with social media and technology. The report gives the youth perspective on ways that technology can both enhance and interfere with outdoor activities. The survey offers youth-driven ideas on how to best combine outdoor experiences, social media and technology.

Promoting Physical Activity through the Shared Use of School & Community Recreational Resources
This brief summarizes research on community access to school sport and recreation facilities outside of school hours, as well as studies that examine the shared use of school facilities and programs with other community groups or agencies. It also describes challenges commonly associated with the shared use of recreational facilities and opportunities for policy-makers at the state and local levels. 

Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities
This report, the result of collaboration between EPA and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), focuses on smart growth strategies that can help guide growth in rural areas while protecting natural and working lands and preserving the rural character of existing communities.

Regional Approaches to Sustainable Development: Linking Economic, Transportation, and Environmental Infrastructure in Rural and Small Metropolitan America
Regional development organizations (RDOs) are designing and implementing strategies to create stronger, more dynamic, more resilient regional economies that are based on quality of place. This report from the National Association of Development Organizations highlights the opportunities available to RDOs to undertake sustainable development initiatives using a systems-based approach.

Rural Communities: Expanding Horizons
Learn more about the great strides that have been made in the last decade to provide more transportation choices for residents of small urban and rural areas. This report highlights the opportunities for continued innovation, public transit investment, and political and community support to provide freedom, independence, and access through public transportation. 

Stewarding the Future of Our Communities
This major research project conducted for the Craig Byrne Fellows Program of the Orton Family Foundation addresses the challenges of stewarding local community engagement and planning–that is, building greater sustainability into citizen-driven, value-based community engagement and planning–in order to ensure its ongoing success and impact. Five exemplary community engagement and planning experiences in small towns and cities around the country are highlighted to provide specific stewardship approaches they have used to carry the success of their efforts far into the future.

Strategic Lessons In Sustainable Community Building–The Groundwork USA Network
A growing number of communities across the country are leveraging greening initiatives  as catalysts for the social and economic regeneration of urban neighborhoods. Urban greening provides underserved neighborhoods with access to green spaces that improve overall quality of life and begin to address long-standing health and economic disparities of its residents.

Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities
This new report helps better coordinate federal programs for sustainable community and smart growth development for rural communities. The report was prepared by the HUD, DOT, and EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities in cooperation with USDA. It presents sample funding mechanisms, technical assistance opportunities, and performance measures rural communities can use, and includes case studies showcasing rural accomplishments.

Three Years of Helping Communities Achieve Their Visions for Growth and Prosperity
This report provides an overview of EPA, HUD, and DOT support to communities seeking to protect the environment, provide more housing choices, and make transportation systems more efficient and reliable.  Case studies include: Bridgeport, CT; Ranson and Charles Town, WV; Montgomery, AL; Cincinnati, OH; Moline, IL; Denver, CO: and Wellpinit, WA.

Vibrant Rural Communities Case Studies Series
The National Association of Development Association’s Vibrant Rural Communities case studies series highlights how rural regions and small towns across the country are growing local and regional economies and creating stronger communities. This series shows how small towns can leverage a wide range of tools and approaches to build on their assets, protect their resources, and make strategic investments that offer long-term benefits for residents and local businesses.






February 4, 2015|By Ross Feldman
This series of 12 case studies was developed for the Conservation Banking Training, offered annually by The Conservation Fund. These case studies profile approved and operational conservation banks from around the country. Appendices for each case study are available upon request; please contact mcarey@conservationfund.org.

Documents are PDF downloads. 

February 4, 2015|By Ross Feldman
The Conservation Leadership Network (CLN) will be strengthening livability capacity in at least four communities (see list below) starting in fall 2013 as part of the Federal Lands Livability Initiative. Through a partnership with the Federal Lands Livability Workgroup, comprised of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the National Park Service (NPS) and other land management agencies, CLN will assess trends in livability associated with federal public lands and their surrounding gateway communities. This initiative includes a mix of public lands, refuges, forests and parks from a geographic and demographic cross section of the country.

What Is A Gateway Community?

CO-Grand-Lake-downtown-rikdom-Flickr-300x200Grand Lake, Colorado, is one of the gateway communities participating in the initiative. Photo by rikdom/Flickr. America’s gateway communities are places adjacent to our public lands  that attract visitors and residents looking for unique recreational and cultural experiences. These communities face unique challenges—such as how to protect the assets that make them special and appealing—and often must work together with their public land partners to overcome these challenges. CLN has worked with gateway communities for more than a decade through its Balancing Nature and Commerce Program. This program has shown time and again that when local government officials, public land managers and community residents have the opportunity to talk about issues related to local land use, economic development and nature-based tourism, they can find a common way forward that fosters community development while also promoting public land and the outdoors.

What Is “Livability”?

SC-Calhoun-Falls-Richard-B-Russell-Lake-fishing-ACE-300x200The annual Kid’s Fishing Derby at Richard B. Russell Lake in Calhoun, South Carolina. Photo by Army Corps of Engineers/Flickr. The term “livability” refers to the quality and location of transportation facilities in relation to broader opportunities such as access to good jobs, affordable housing, quality schools and safe streets. 

The Six Principles of Livability defined by the U.S. departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency Partnership for Sustainable Communities include: 

  1. Provide more transportation choices. 
  2. Promote equitable, affordable housing. 
  3. Enhance economic competitiveness. 
  4. Support existing communities. 
  5. Coordinate policies and leverage investment. 
  6. Value communities and neighborhoods.

Learn more about Livability >> 

The Initiative: Livability Assessments & Workshops

OR-Sweet-Home-Weddle-Bridge-Sandy-Horvath-Dori-Flickr-300x200Weddle Bridge in Sweet Home, Oregon. Photo by Sandy Horvath-Dori/Flickr This fall, members of the CLN team, together with local representatives and a local design team, will visit and conduct a livability assessment in each of the communities selected for the initiative.

Based on this on-the-ground assessment, the team will provide a livability status report to each community. By assessing these diverse gateway communities, the team hopes to draw general conclusions and lessons about how best to create and improve livability standards in these and other gateway communities.  

Once the livability assessment report is provided to the communities, CLN will set up workshops, unique to each community, that will allow residents and local officials to meet with representatives from their neighboring public lands.  “It’s our goal to help communities foster valuable partnerships,” says Kris Hoellen, vice president of sustainable programs for the Fund and CLN director. These workshops aim to help build an action plan based on the evaluation of the community’s key livability factors, which may include the strength of community character, as well as the accessibility to transportation, affordable housing, employment and business opportunities. 

Selected Communities

An interagency selection committee comprised of representatives from the
USFWS, NPS, FHWS, USFS and BLM selected public lands and their gateway
communities to participate in this initiative. These include: Map-Federal-Lands-Livability-Fin-645x430
 


Colorado

Community: Grand Lake
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Federal Land: Rocky Mountain National Park
Other Public Lands:  Arapaho National Recreation Area (USFS)/ Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest (USFS)/ BLM lands/ Bureau of Reclamation
Read the full Grand Lake Gateway Community Livability Assessment Report (PDF) 

Michigan

Community: Spaulding and James townships, Saginaw City
Managing Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Federal Land: Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge
Other Public Lands:  Green Point Environmental Learning Center (USFWS)/ Shiawassee River State Game Area (MIDNR)/ Saginaw Township public boat launch/ Saginaw Valley Rail Trail (Saginaw County)
Read the full Saginaw and Surrounding Townships Gateway Community Livability Assessment Report (PDF)

Oregon

Community: Sweet Home
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service
Federal Land: Willamette National Forest
Other Public Lands:  Foster Reservoir (USACE)/ Green Peter Reservoir (USACE)/ BLM lands/ Cascadia State Park/ Sunnyside County Park/ Riverbend Campground/ Sweet Home City Parks (7)
Read the full Sweet Home Gateway Community Livability Assessment Report (PDF)

South Carolina

Community: Calhoun Falls
Managing Agency: Army Corps of Engineers
Federal Land: Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Project
Other Public Lands:  Parsons Mountain Recreation Area (USFS)/ Hartwell Project (USACE)/ J. Strom Thurmond Project (USACE)/ SCDNR, SCDPRT Lands
Read the full Calhoun Falls Gateway Community Livability Assessment Report (PDF)

February 4, 2015|By Ross Feldman

Conservation (Species) Mitigation Banking


As a component of the annually-offered Conservation Banking Training course, a series of twelve case studies were developed.

Third Party Wetland and Stream Mitigation Banking


Complementary to the annually-offered 3rd Party Mitigation Interagency Review Team (IRT) Training course, presentations and resources associated with the course are available.
February 4, 2015|By Ross Feldman
Sustainable Tourism & Livability AssessmentsThe Conservation Fund’s Conservation Leadership Network works with communities across the country to provide assessments of an area’s natural, cultural and historic assets and evaluate opportunities to sustainably develop these assets predicated on livability principles.

Sustainable Tourism Assessments

As part of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) program, The Appalachian Gateway Initiative: Natural and Cultural Heritage Tourism Development, The Conservation Fund and The National Trust for Historic Preservation were retained to assist communities in enhancing natural, recreational, arts and historic assets in order to create sustainable tourism programs.  Since 2007, this program has conducted six assessments and developed recommendations reports for each.  See a few of these reports below:


Other Sustainable Tourism Intiatives:

The Conservation Fund worked specifically with the community of Unicoi, Tennessee to help them achieve a vibrant community by enhancing their natural, recreational, cultural and historic assets.  As a result, The Conservation Fund developed a Sustainable Tourism Initiative for the county that provides a recommendation report for implementation of a sustainable tourism plan.

Read the Sustainable Tourism Initiative here >> (PDF)

Livability Assessments

The Conservation Leadership Network will be strengthening livability capacity in five communities starting in 2013.  Through a partnership with the Federal Lands Livability Workgroup comprised of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the National Park Service (NPS) and other land management agencies, we will assess trends in livability associated with federal lands and their surrounding gateway communities, including identifying transferable lessons learned, and providing specific recommendations/action plans for moving forward. The initiative expects to include a broad mix of public lands, refuges, forests, and parks, from a geographic and demographic cross-section of the country.

Read more about Livability and this initiative here >>

Read the full Grand Lake Gateway Community Livability Assessment Report (PDF) here >>
February 4, 2015|By Ross Feldman

Teaching Kids About Carbon, Farming & The Environment


Download Available!

Download Moving Freight: Economy and Atmosphere school curriculum. (PDF)
Suitable for Grades 3-12.

CSX Final-Curriculum-illustration-390x260Graphic by JS Design StudioIn 2012, The Conservation Fund’s Conservation Leadership Network partnered with the international transportation company CSX to sponsor the creation of Moving Freight: Economy and Atmosphere, a curriculum unit to educate school-age students that the train tracks they drive over and the trucks they pass on the highway are connected to a world-wide web of industry, culture, commerce and environmental impact.

The curriculum is designed to provide four activities that build with increasing complexity—or provide the option to be used as stand-alone modules—to help meet curricular goals in mathematics, economics and science.  Students from grades 3-12 will compare and contrast the efficiency of freight transportation in ships, trains, trucks, and airplanes using real-world examples and explore tools and resources on the internet.  Students will also discover the carbon cycle and the impacts of burning fossil fuels on the environment coupled with a comparison of calculated carbon footprints of freight transportation modes.

Additionally, CSX partners with many youth organizations including Future Farmers of America (FFA), a national organization preparing future generations to meet the challenges of the science, business, and art of agriculture.  For agriculture education with the FFA and school programs across the nation, we also developed an activity that investigates the carbon footprint of transporting the raw agricultural materials from farms to processing factories and finally to each student.  This activity demonstrates how raw goods comprise many of our everyday products and that the transportation of each of these materials emits carbon dioxide which adds to the impact of greenhouse gases. That impact reinforces the importance of efficient fuel consumption.

The Conservation Fund recognizes the shared values that CSX is striving to support through their National Gateway program: their desire to educate states and communities to efficiently and economically create safer, less congested roadways, bolster environmental health, and promote economic growth.  The Fund works on the ground across the country to help partners like CSX fulfill their conservation priorities through creative initiatives such as this in order to protect and enhance landscapes where Americans work, play, and rediscover history.