When you think of the West, do you think of the mountain peaks blanketed in snow? Do you think of the rolling hills of the wooded areas dense with wildlife? Many of us have different pictures of what the West should look like. A lot of that is being taken over by the growth of cities and other things.
In the past decades, the West has been subject to mining, drilling, and clear-cutting for the expansion of the population. All of these things have taken their toll on the resources and habitats that surround them. We must draw on other resources now to help protect and conserve that land. When we take care of the nature that surrounds us, nature will, in turn, take care of us to make the West a better place by helping to improve the natural environment around them.
The Creation of Conservation Banking
What is conservation banking? Conservation banking allows a market-based method that is designed to help offset any undesired effects to species that could be either threatened or endangered and are protected under the United States Endangered Species act. This is the process where a parcel of land that contains natural recourses is conserved and managed in perpetuity. Through conservation easement, an entity is responsible for the terms of the easement. This helps offset impacts for individually listed species that occur in other places to the same resources on non-bank lands. The parcel bank is often large enough to mitigate many products. These prominent projects will secure several natural resource values within the bank to offset the same costs offsite.
In the US, there are over 130 conservation banks nationwide. These banks help to preserve over 160,000 acres of land that contain valuable habitats for more than 70 kinds of threatened or endangered species.
With these banks, we can continue to help wildlife and preserve the environments that they thrive in. They can also help landowners by profiting off of their land by selling habitat or something called species credits to different parties need to compensate for adverse impacts to various species. People such as Developers whose activities could potentially result in adverse effects are often required to make some offsite compensation habitat. Conservation banks offer a fantastic solution to this problem.