Second Nature Report, Conservation Banking Chapter (Defenders of Wildlife, 2003)

The traditional form of compensatory mitigation is conducted on a project-by-project basis. First, a project is planned and designed. Then, during the subsequent environmental review and permit phase, regulatory agencies determine the amount of environmental damage that can be expected and suggest actions that can be taken to mitigate that damage. Often, this mitigation is conducted on-site, by setting aside a portion of the land in the project area. For example, if a new highway project fills 25 acres of wetland, the project sponsor might be required to create an additional 25 acres of wetland. Mitigation areas are chosen ad-hoc, rather than as part of a large-scale planning effort. This is not only expensive and time-consuming for the project sponsor; it is rarely effective for the environment. Transportation officials often divide one

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