The Role of Habitat Markets in Landscape-Scale Species Conservation: A USFWS Perspective

Friday, October 24, 2014: 2:05 PM
Ampitheater (Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center)
Shauna Ginger , USFWS, Portland, OR
Conservation success for wide-ranging species requires implementation of conservation and mitigation tools across scales that match the biological needs of the species and supporting ecosystem. Landscape-scale mitigation tools, such as habitat credit exchanges, can provide a means to leverage environmental markets to meet overall environmental goals for at-risk species. For species listed or being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), these programs can provide regulatory certainty, measurable conservation outcomes, and a streamlined means to mitigate for unavoidable impacts. The greater sage-grouse is one such ESA candidate species. Across its range of 11 western states, the overlay of energy resources and overlapping jurisdictions adds additional complexity to development of mitigation programs. The Service is finalizing a mitigation framework to offer guidance range-wide on aspects of habitat mitigation for the species, including standards for achieving durability, additionality, and consistency in how impacts are quantified and unavoidable impacts offset. We offer a Service perspective on habitat exchange efforts in the range of sage-grouse and relate these tools to current and developing national mitigation programs and policies.