By Gregory S. Braker – Mondaq – March 31, 2013

Big mining projects offer big opportunities. Rather than being viewed as a threat to the environment, mining projects (which must occur where the ore is found) offer many options for environmental enhancements. Existing mitigation approaches can miss that chance, even though there is sufficient discretion and flexibility in the applicable law to get good results for the ecosystem, both in terms of watershed and habitat. For full story, click here.

By T. J. Mascia and Charlotte Brett – Ecosystem Marketplace – March 20, 2013

Wetland Mitigation Banking is one of the great environmental successes of the past forty years. A $3 billion industry, it is credited with restoring and protecting 960,000 acres of wetlands, streams, and associated upland habitat across the United States. The National Research Council and Environmental Law Institute both credit it as the most successful type of compensatory mitigation for wetland and stream impacts, while the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and US Environmental Protection Agency have identified it as the the federally preferred form of compensatory mitigation. For full story, click here.

By Lori Ryan – Roundup Web – February 27, 2013

The Montana Department of Transportation is searching for wetlands that have been drained and/or partially drained that could be restored as mitigation for transportation projects. Former wetlands in the Watershed #12 – Lower Missouri River basin associated with the Big Muddy, Little Muddy, Redwater and Poplar River drainages in Northeastern Montana that could potentially be restored to wetlands are being sought by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT). If you own drained or partially drained wetlands and would be willing to sell or provide a perpetual conservation easement, a representative would like to hear from you by March 8, 2013. For full story, click here.

The Stillwater Gazette
– March 13, 2013

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is seeking applicants for $5 million in funds available for wetland restoration projects, the agency announced. Through a conservation easement sign-up and a request-for-proposal process, BWSR has funds to restore wetlands and their adjacent uplands. Wetland restorations will generate wetland credits, which will be used to offset wetland impacts resulting from qualifying state road improvement and rehabilitation projects. For full story, click here.

By Wayne White and Jemma Penelope – Ecosystem Marketplace – March 12, 2013

Common sense would dictate that properties generating the greatest environmental benefit should also command the highest price in the ecosystem marketplace, and that one way to do that might be to let people stack different ecosystem values on the same patch of land. Attempts to implement this idea, however, often bog down on technicalities and charges that the user is trying to double-dip rather than earn fair compensation for ecosystem services delivered. This is unfortunate, because we now have enough real-world examples to launch a real-world discussion about stacking and unstacking – as well as about whether the entire system needs to be reformed and rethought. For full story, click here.