Assessing Compensatory Mitigation Options for Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation


Sage-Grouse Compensatory Mitigation

Executive Summary

This report presents the results of a semester-long research project undertaken by Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies graduate students Olivia Pearman and Rachel Plawecki. The project was developed and carried out under the supervision and guidance of Len Barson and Jessica Wilkinson at The Nature Conservancy. Our research sought to: evaluate current and proposed compensatory mitigation options for the Greater Sage-Grouse (GSG), assess the scope of industry demand for GSG compensatory mitigation options, recommend how compensatory mitigation programs should be structured, and offer areas for future investigation.

Key Conclusions

• Program components are more important than specific mechanisms.
• Development and use of well-designed crediting methodology, mitigation focus on high priority areas, and stakeholder collaboration are the most agreed-upon program components
• Demand for credits is based on expected regulations/requirements, cost considerations, and characteristics of available options.
• Banks should play the largest role in compensatory mitigation for sage-grouse, with in-lieu fees and habitat credit exchanges filling in gaps across the sage-grouse range.