Emerging Markets for Landscape Scale Habitat Conservation

Friday, October 24, 2014: 1:25 PM-2:55 PM
Ampitheater (Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center)
Habitat markets are emerging tools for achieving habitat mitigation to avoid, minimize and offset development impacts.  Habitat exchanges are a form of habitat markets that provide  administrative and regulatory support to empower private landowners and public lands managers to participate in mitigation markets that are transparent, fair, and yield measurable and sustainable benefits to species at local and landscape scales. This session will provide an overview of habitat exchange design and implementation, including a discussion of where exchanges fit within the broader framework of environmental markets and federal mitigation policy. Drawing from our experience of developing habitat exchanges for the lesser prairie-chicken, greater sage-grouse, and multiple species in California, we will provide details on the basic elements of these systems including their structure, operational roles and responsibilities, and supporting regulatory frameworks. We will offer perspectives on these efforts from the regulatory agency (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), conservation, and agricultural sectors.  One of the biggest innovations of habitat exchanges is the inclusion of a rigorous, scientifically-based process for quantifying and verifying outcomes through the development and application of habitat quantification tools (HQTs) that use standardized metrics to consistently calculate functional habitat value on both impact and offset sites. HQTs are a significant advancement in capturing the ecological complexity of sites so as to more accurately evaluate gains and losses. We will describe the basic elements of HQTs and share our experience in working with teams of scientists in their development.
Session Chair:
Stacy Small-Lorenz
1:45 PM
2:25 PM
A Landowner Perspective on Habitat Exchanges: An Economically Sound Solution
Terry Fankhauser, Colorado Cattlemen's Association
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