Leo Lentsch, a Senior Principal in CEC’s Ecological Sciences Practice, is a co-author on a recently published article included in the Fall 2023 edition of Natural Resources & Environment, an American Bar Association publication.
“How the Forthcoming Species Mitigation Rule May Influence Private Investment in Species Biodiversity” was co-authored by Sara L. Johnson, the Executive Director of the Ecological Restoration Business Association (ERBA) and is a partner with Nossaman LLP in Los Angeles, Calif. CEC is a member of ERBA and Leo is the Co-Chair of the Species Conservation Committee.
The article emphasizes: “Species conservation banks are a market-based conservation mechanism that aims to protect (prevent further degradation), conserve (maintain ecological processes), and/or restore (replace ecological processes) natural habitats and ecosystems that species depend upon. They work by allowing project proponents and/or developers to buy “credits” from a bank to offset impacts that their project may cause to a given species.”
Leo points out the species conservation banking rule could likely change the industry, similar to the transformation seen by the “wetland mitigation” rule. The Species Mitigation Rule that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed demonstrates a positive change in policy that should lead to the enhanced cooperation between industry and the conservation of biodiversity. The forthcoming Species Mitigation Rule should reward and incentivize mitigation in locations that offer imperiled species the greatest conservation benefit.
Leo adds a final rule should expedite the pathway for authorizing industry projects while enhancing the process of implementing species conservation. “It would make it easier.”