There is a national conference of mitigation banking officials being held in Sacramento at present. Not “bank” as in financial institution. Rather, this is the profession of individuals who secure land in advance of mitigation need, modify it appropriately for certain special status species, and then get the land (the “bank”) approved by the federal and/or state government agency in charge of such matters. Once approved, the land can be sold to others needing to mitigate for species impacts. Thus, the land is “banked” in advance of need. This is different than what the Conservancy does. But in both cases, we purchase and build mitigation lands for the benefit of special status species.
This is a pretty impressive group. During conference sessions, attendees were offered opportunities to take field trips to actual sites in the Sacramento area where mitigation projects have taken place. The first stop on two such field trips included the Conservancy’s mitigation sites in the Natomas Basin. This was a good opportunity to exchange views on how mitigation properties are operated. Having private and public sector leaders on the tour, all familiar with mitigation banking, was a learning experience. And a great opportunity to meet some good people. “Show and tell” can easily be one-sided, but in this case, it was a two way street.