Four New Mitigation and Conservation Banks Approved In California

Wildlands, Inc. announces the approval of four new mitigation and conservation banks in Northern California.  With the approval of the Phase III River Ranch Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle Conservation Bank, Liberty Island Native Fisheries Conservation Bank, Toad Hill Ranch and River Ranch Wetland Mitigation Banks, Wildlands is now operating 28 banks servicing 37 counties throughout California.

“The approval of these four banks further broadens our mitigation inventory and will allow us to continue to assist our Northern California public and private developer clients responsibly meet their mitigation obligations,” said Brian Monaghan, Project Director at Wildlands.  “These recent approvals are not only a testament to our top notch bank entitlement team, but also to our natural resource agency partners at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG).  They have provided valuable input and support throughout the approval process.”

Details of the four projects:
• 100-acre Phase III expansion of the River Ranch Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle Conservation Bank in Yolo County by USFWS. This is the expansion of a successful preserve dedicated to the recovery of the Beetle.

• 148-acre Liberty Island Native Fisheries Conservation Bank is approved to mitigate impacts to native delta fish including delta smelt and listed salmon.  The project has been approved by NMFS, USFWS and CDFG.  The project is approved to mitigate impacts to native fish habitat throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta.

• 1,630-acre Toad Hill Ranch, located in western Placer County, has been approved to mitigate for impacts to wetlands and listed vernal pool crustaceans by the USACE, USEPA, and USFWS; and for impacts to Swainson’s hawk foraging habitat by the County of Placer.  The project will create and restore over 95 acres of wetlands and vernal pools; and preserve over 1,600 acres of Swainson’s hawk foraging habitat.

• 113-acre River Ranch Wetlands Mitigation Bank is approved by the USACE, USEPA, and CDFG to mitigate permitted impacts to wetlands in Western Placer County, Northern Sacramento County and Yolo County.

With the number of banks currently being operated by Wildlands, the company has developed an on-line mitigation search engine on the company’s web page that allows permit applicants and their consulting teams to accurately determine which Wildlands mitigation bank may service their project.
“We have received a lot of positive feedback from project proponents on our mitigation search engine, but it certainly will not replace the one-on-one customer service our clients expect,” remarked Monaghan.
As Wildlands approaches its 20th year in business, several additional California banks are slated for approval in 2011. These include new projects throughout Southern California to help the state meet future growth and infrastructure needs.