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Design of U.S. Habitat Banking Systems to Support the Conservation of Wildlife Habitat and At-Risk Species, Environmental Law Institute, 2008



A variety of laws at all levels of government seek to conserve various natural resources, such as wetlands or endangered species habitat, by restricting the right to carry out actions that adversely affect them. A common feature of these and many other environmental statutes is that they typically allow an otherwise prohibited activity (the filling of a wetland or the harming of an endangered species) if the adverse effects of that activity are sufficiently offset – or "mitigated" – by appropriate compensatory measures. One way for permittees to satisfy their compensatory mitigation obligations is through habitat banking – wetland mitigation banking, conservation banking, or other banking systems. The amount of funds that are directed to compensatory mitigation on an annual basis in the U.S. is significant.

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