The California Legislature passed AB 2087 (Levine), which provides the legal authority for the creation of advanced mitigation credits based on Regional Conservation Investment Strategies approved by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. These conservation strategies, while voluntary and non-regulatory, can be used to:
- Guide investments in resource conservation
- Guide infrastructure design and siting
- Identify conservation priorities, including those needed to address climate change
- Identify potential mitigation for impacts to wildlife and habitat
Regional Conservation Investment Strategies (RCIS) can be developed by any public agency if a state agency agrees that the strategy would contribute to meeting state goals related to (1) conservation and (2) infrastructure or forest management. Mitigation credit agreements, based on an approved RCIS, would provide a way to link mitigation to larger conservation goals and reduce the transaction costs and time required to meet mitigation requirements.
Regional advanced mitigation programs (RAMP) have been a goal of the conservation community for years in order to improve the conservation value and effectiveness of project mitigation. AB 2087 provides a means to achieve this goal.
AB 2087 was sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, with strong support from Audubon California, Defenders of Wildlife and numerous other environmental organizations. The bill was developed by Conservation Strategy Group (CSG) in close cooperation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), and other state agencies.
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Note: This program is authorized but no funding for it has been appropriated. Funding is in the process of being identified