Getting More Of A Good Thing? California Introduces New Law on Conservation Banking

Published just now on Ecosystem Marketplace: My article on the new CA Conservation Banking Legislation…

New legislation from California on conservation banking could invigorate the state’s long-running but stagnate industry and serve as a framework for other states and even at the national level. But the conservation banking sector is in disagreement over if the new rule will actually deliver on intended benefits.

25 June 2013 | On June 5th, California passed Senate Bill 1148, so enacting legislation under the Fish and Game Code to set up new rules and processes around how conservation banking is practiced in the state.

The legislation may have been designed to both promote and improve a stagnating state conservation banking industry, but the outcomes of these new rules might not have this desired positive effect and has not been unanimously supported by the conservation banking community.

It started in California…

State-level conservation banking has been practiced in California for18 years and was a real incubator for the wider conservation banking industry now operating at the state level in California, and elsewhere across the US. There are nearly 30 conservation banks approved by state agencies in California. State-listed species from the Swainson’s Hawk to the Giant Garter Snake and the San Joaquin Kit Fox have been successfully conserved to date.

Yet despite the great conservation banking that has been going on in California, seemingly fewer banks have been proposed and established in recent years. This month the California Agriculture journal featured a study of this 18 year-old industry by professors from the University of Davis, near Sacramento, CA. They noticed this declining trend, and wondered how existing banks fit into the State’s wider large-scale conservation planning framework.

…Read more here

California’s new regulations are focused on fixing identified problems, but it’s also abouut keeping a program alive and well. The state’s decision to craft conservation banking legislation to keep up the good work it has been doing is a positive sign regulations at the federal level will be created in the future.


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