Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Add note
Save to My Library
Sync to mobile
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
×
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Kiesecker et al. 2010 Development by design: blending landscape-level planning with the mitigation hierarchy

Kiesecker et al. 2010 Development by design: blending landscape-level planning with the mitigation hierarchy

Ratings: (0)|Views: 2,042|Likes:
Published by joekiesecker
Compensatory mitigation, or biodiversity offsets, provide a mechanism for maintaining or enhancing environmental
values in situations where development is being planned, despite detrimental environmental
impacts. Offsets are generally intended as an option for addressing any remaining environmental impacts of
a development plan, after efforts have been made to avoid, minimize, or restore on-site impacts. Although
offset programs require that developers adhere to the mitigation hierarchy to avoid, minimize, and restore
biodiversity on-site before considering an offset for residual impacts, no quantitative guidelines exist for
this decision-making process. What criteria are needed to require that impacts be minimized or avoided
altogether? Here, we examine how conservation planning can provide a way to address this issue. By blending
landscape-level conservation planning with application of the mitigation hierarchy, we can ensure that
the use of biodiversity offsets is consistent with sustainable development practices.
Compensatory mitigation, or biodiversity offsets, provide a mechanism for maintaining or enhancing environmental
values in situations where development is being planned, despite detrimental environmental
impacts. Offsets are generally intended as an option for addressing any remaining environmental impacts of
a development plan, after efforts have been made to avoid, minimize, or restore on-site impacts. Although
offset programs require that developers adhere to the mitigation hierarchy to avoid, minimize, and restore
biodiversity on-site before considering an offset for residual impacts, no quantitative guidelines exist for
this decision-making process. What criteria are needed to require that impacts be minimized or avoided
altogether? Here, we examine how conservation planning can provide a way to address this issue. By blending
landscape-level conservation planning with application of the mitigation hierarchy, we can ensure that
the use of biodiversity offsets is consistent with sustainable development practices.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: joekiesecker on Jan 09, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See More
See less

10/27/2011

pdf

text

original

 
261
© The Ecological Society of America
w
 
w
 
w.f
 
r
 
ontier
 
sinecolo
 
g
 
y.org
 
T
here is widespread consensus that the world is currentlyexperiencing a mass extinction event (Wilson 1992; Novacek and Cleland 2001). The biodiversity loss associatedwith this process is the result of several factors, including:land-use change and habitat destruction, invasive species,overexploitation of resources, pollution, and climate change.Of these factors, habitat destruction is by far the most detri-mental, with infrastructure development playing a key role(Hardner and Rice 2002). It is estimated that an unprece-dented US$22 trillion will be invested to support increasedinfrastructure development by 2030, mostly in developingcountries (IEA 2006; World Bank 2007). With the mountingpressure on natural resources as human populations grow,there is increasing urgency to find ways to balance thesegrowing needs with those of biodiversity conservation.Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a systematicprocess that examines the environmental consequences of planned developments (Lawrence 2003). Since its inceptionin the US in 1969, the concept of EIA has spread worldwide.The emphasis of EIA is on prediction and prevention of environmental damage (Lawrence 2003). The mitigation of environmental impacts is therefore a key stage of the EIAprocess, and lies at its heart (Pritchard 1993). EIA practi-tioners seek to minimize impacts through the application of the “mitigation hierarchy”: avoid, minimize, restore, or offset(CEQ 2000). In theory, this process provides a mechanismto balance development and conservation; however, in prac-tice, EIA is applied on a project-by-project basis, which canunderestimate the cumulative impacts of multiple current orprojected development projects within an area and also limitflexibility in applying the mitigation hierarchy.Offsets are an increasingly popular mechanism forachieving environmental benefits (Gibbons andLindenmayer 2007), by providing a mechanism for main-taining or enhancing environmental values in situationswhere development is being planned, despite the fact thatsuch development is likely to cause detrimental environ-mental impacts (ten Kate 2004). Biodiversity offsets seekto ensure that the inevitable negative environmentalimpacts of development are moderated by environmentalgains, with the overall aim of achieving a net neutral orpositive outcome (ten Kate 2004; McKenney 2005).Offsets are generally intended as an option for addressingany residual environmental damage, after efforts have beenundertaken to avoid and minimize the impacts (Figure 1).Although the potential benefits of biodiversity offsets arenumerous – including benefits for industry, government,and conservation groups alike – establishing offsetsinvolves overcoming several conceptual and methodologi-cal challenges. A major problem with this approach is thatit implies that all habitats can be offset. A key questionconcerning the use of offsets therefore centers on whenand where they can be used as an appropriate tool. If offsetuse continues to increase, how do we know that impacts to
CONCEPTSANDQUESTIONS
Development by design: blending landscape-level planning with the mitigation hierarchy 
 Joseph M Kies
 
ecker
1*
, Holly Cop
 
ela
 
nd
2
, Amy Po
 
cew
 
icz
2
, a
 
nd Bruce McKenney
3
 
Compensatory mitigation, or biodiversity offsets, provide a mechanism for maintaining or enhancing envi-ronmental values in situations where development is being planned, despite detrimental environmentalimpacts. Offsets are generally intended as an option for addressing any remaining environmental impacts of a development plan, after efforts have been made to avoid, minimize, or restore on-site impacts. Althoughoffset programs require that developers adhere to the mitigation hierarchy to avoid, minimize, and restorebiodiversity on-site before considering an offset for residual impacts, no quantitative guidelines exist for this decision-making process. What criteria are needed to require that impacts be minimized or avoidedaltogether? Here, we examine how conservation planning can provide a way to address this issue. By blend-ing landscape-level conservation planning with application of the mitigation hierarchy, we can ensure thatthe use of biodiversity offsets is consistent with sustainable development practices.
 Front Ecol Environ
2010; 8(5): 261–266, doi:10.1890/090005 (published online 20 Aug 2009)
1
The Nature Conservancy, Fort Collins, CO
*
(jkiesecker@tnc.org);
2
The Nature Conservancy, Lander, WY;
3
The NatureConservancy, Charlottesville, VA
In a nutshell:
Balancing growing resource needs with biodiversity conserva-tion requires an approach beyond traditional project-by-projectmitigation for impacts resulting from developmentWe show how conservation planning, in combination with themitigation hierarchy, can guide decision making on whereimpacts to biodiversity can be offset and where they should beavoided or minimizedThis framework not only guides the use of mitigation strategies,but also provides a structure for funding conservation
 
Landscape planning and mitigationJM Kiesecker
et al
.
262
w
 
w
 
w.f
 
r
 
ont
 
ier
 
sinecolog
 
y.or
 
g
©The Ecological Society of America
 
biodiversity will continue to be offset? Regulatory agenciesoften require that developers follow the mitigation hierar-chy (CEQ 2000) of seeking to avoid, minimize, and restorebiodiversity on the site, before considering an offset for theresidual impacts. However, no quantitative guidelines existto guide this decision-making process.Conservation planning (eg Groves 2003) provides aframework to ensure that mitigation efforts are consistentwith conservation goals; this often includes the mainte-nance of large, resilient ecosystems to support both healthywildlife habitats and human communities. Blending themitigation hierarchy with conservation planning offersthree distinct advantages over a traditional project-by-pro-ject approach. The mitigation-planning combination (1)takes into account the cumulative impacts of current orprojected development projects; (2) provides regional con-text to better guide which step of the mitigation hierarchyshould be applied (ie avoidance versus offsets); and (3)offers increased flexibility in choosing offsets that maxi-mize conservation returns by providing resources for themost threatened ecosystems or species.
Systematic conservation planning
Landscape-level conservation planning is the process of locating, configuring, and maintaining areas that are man-aged to maintain viability of biodiversity and other naturalfeatures (Pressey and Bottrill 2008). A conservation port-folio (composed of priority sites), the end product of con-servation planning, is made up of a selectedset of areas that represent the full distribu-tion and diversity of these systems (Noss
etal
. 2002). Plans often optimize (Ball andPossingham 2000) the design of the portfolioto meet the minimum viability needs of eachbiological target, but in a way that minimizesthe area required (Pressey
et al
. 1997; Balland Possingham 2000). Thus, even thoughareas outside of the portfolio have not beenselected, they may still help to meet biodi-versity goals. The key feature of a conserva-tion plan is the clear articulation of a biodi-versity vision that incorporates the full rangeof biological features, how they are currentlydistributed, and what minimum viabilityneeds each biological target requires to per-sist in the long term (Lovejoy 1980;Armbruster and Lande 1993; Doncaster
et al
.1996). The creation of this vision and theimplementation of the conservation strategydepend on the active involvement of hostgovernments, experts from many disciplines,development organizations, and local resi-dents. The ultimate goal is a peer-reviewedconservation strategy with specific actionplans that are widely embraced and imple-mented by stakeholders.
Mitigation planning
We envision two ways in which conservation plans couldbe used to guide the application of the mitigation hierar-chy. First, where plans have already been completed, pro-posed developments can be mapped and assessed relativeto the conservation portfolio and the minimum viabilityneeds of the target species. Overlap between the portfolioand the proposed development may result in a “redraw-ing” of the portfolio to recapture habitat needed to meetbiodiversity goals impacted by development. However, if minimum viability needs cannot be met elsewhere withinthe study area, the development plans would need tominimize impacts to the degree that maintains the viabil-ity of the biological targets or development should notproceed (Figures 1 and 2). Second, where future develop-ment activities (eg oil and gas development, wind/solardevelopment, residential development, some types of mining) can be estimated, these projections can be eithermapped in association with an existing portfolio or usedas part of the creation of a new conservation plan (Figure2). The portfolio should be designed to avoid conflictwith potential development. Areas where such projectscould hinder conservation goals would again be identi-fied, examined in greater detail, and categorized as “avoid-ance/minimization” areas. If adopted, this frameworkwould provide an opportunity to avoid conflict betweenpotential development and areas that are critical for biodi-
Biodiversitybreak-evenpoint(zero impact)+SizeofoffsetPositivecontributions tobiodiversity
   N  o  n  e   t   l  o  s  s   f  o  r   b   i  o   d   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y
 AnticipatedimpactsSite wheretargets arehighlyirreplaceableSite wheretargets arewidelydistributed AvoidedimpactsMinimize/ restoreResidualimpactsImpactoffset
 Fig
 
 ure 1.
Site-level mitigation recommendations resulting from a landscape-level plan. Impacts and mitigation to biodiversity are represented here for two examples,each occurring in areas where a landscape-level plan would recommend differentmitigation options. (a) Proposed development at a site (ie Flaming Gorge) wheretargets are irreplaceable, necessitating a greater reliance on the use of avoidanceand/or minimization. (b) Proposed development at a site (ie Calamity Ridge)where targets are widely distributed and/or highly conserved.
(a)(b)
 
 JM Kiesecker
et al
.Landscape planning and mitigation
263
© The Ecological Society of America
w
 
w
 
w.f
 
r
 
ontier
 
sinecolo
 
g
 
y.org
 
versity conservation, and provide a structuredframework to guide decisions regarding whichstep in the mitigation hierarchy should beapplied (Figures 1 and 2).Landscape-level plans can also maximizethe benefits to conservation of applying themitigation hierarchy, in particular where off-sets are used. Most biodiversity offset legisla-tion and policies presume “like-for-like” or“in-kind” offsets (ie offsets that conservebiodiversity of a similar kind to that affectedby the development). At times, however,better conservation results may be obtainedby placing the offset in an ecosystem of higher conservation priority. A regionallandscape perspective can provide opportu-nities for identifying situations where “trad-ing up”, or “out-of-kind” offsets may offervaluable alternatives. Consider, for example,development that results in impacts to awidely distributed or highly conserved tar-get. Requiring in-kind offsets could limit thepotential benefit that an offset might pro-vide. For example, losses of a particular com-mon habitat type could be offset in a habitatof higher priority in the region, because it isunder great threat (ie vulnerable) or becauseit is the last remaining example of its kind,and is therefore irreplaceable. Out-of-kindoffsets may also be preferable where there isan opportunity to take advantage of existingconservation management to locate the off-set, or consolidating several offsets in onelocation. Of course, alternatives to strict in-kind criteria would need to be clearly benefi-cial to biodiversity conservation or mightonly be adopted after proper consideration of an in-kindoffset, and should not simply be driven by cost reduction.
The Wyoming Basins ecoregion: a case study inmitigation planning
The Wyoming Basins ecoregion (WBE) comprises 13.3million hectares of basin, plain, desert, and “island” moun-tains in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and Utah(Bailey 1995; Figure 3). The area is a stronghold for thegreater sage-grouse (
Centrocercus urophasianus
), anemblematic native game bird now being considered for list-ing under the Endangered Species Act (Figure 4). Theecoregion provides critical habitat for migratory big game,songbirds, and raptors within the reaches of the GreaterYellowstone ecosystem. Some of the world’s largest herds of mule deer (
Odocoileus hemionus
) and pronghorn antelope(
 Antilocapra americana
) winter here, relying on the snow-free forage to get them through harsh winter weather(Figure 5). In an attempt to identify areas that would main-tain long-term persistence of representative biodiversity forthe ecoregion, The Nature Conservancy, together with keystate and federal land management and wildlife regulatoryagencies, universities, and other conservation organiza-tions, set out to conduct an ecoregional plan for the WBE(Freilich
et al
. 2001). The portfolio of sites chosen duringthe WBE ecoregional assessment totals 3.5 million ha, or27% of the total area in the ecoregion (Figure 2a). TheWBE is also home to some of the richest oil and gas depositsin the western US (US DOI 2006; Figures 2b and 5),including some that intersect areas selected in the ecore-gional assessment (Figure 2c). In fact, the number of pro-ducing oil and gas wells in the ecoregion has nearly tripledsince the 1980s and is expected to increase further over thenext 30 years (Copeland
et al
. 2007; Doherty
et al
. in press).Conservation of the biological diversity in this area is inquestion, in part because the US Federal Government hasauthorized exploration and development on over 4 millionof the 8 million ha (52%) of the federal mineral estatewithin the ecoregion (Doherty
et al
. in press).Here, we use the portfolio of sites selected in the plan(Freilich
et al
. 2001; Figure 2a) to demonstrate how we can
 Fig
 
 u
 
re 2.
Landscape-level recommendations for the application of the mitigationhierarchy in the Wyoming Basins ecoregion. (a) Portfolio of conservation sitesselected by the Wyoming Basins ecoregional assessment (Freilich
et al
. 2001).(b) Oil and gas potential, based on estimates of undiscovered, technicallyrecoverable resources (US DOI 2006; Copeland
et al
. 2007; Kiesecker
et al
.2009; Copeland
et al
. in review). (c) Sites that overlap areas with high probabilityof development outlined in black. Labeled sites – Ace-in-the-Hole Draw, CalamityRidge, and Flaming Gorge – are discussed in more detail in the text.
 
MontanaWyomingSouthDakotaNECheyenneColoradoDenverSalt Lake CityUtahIdahoMontana
Wyoming
SouthDakotaNECheyenneColoradoDenverSalt Lake CityUtahIdahoOil and gaspotentialHigh: 100Low: 0
Montana
Wyoming
SouthDakotaNebraskaCheyenneColoradoSalt Lake CityUtahIdaho
Flaming GorgeCalamity Ridge
 Ace-in-the-Hole Draw
0 25 50 100 KilometersN
(a)(b)(c)

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->