California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Vernal pool among oak trees. Photo courtesy of Dan and Raymond.

Conservation and Mitigation Banking
What Lands are Appropriate for Banking?

Bank sponsors should carefully select proposed bank sites to assure they will provide the maximum conservation value and sustainable mitigation for sensitive species, habitats, and wetlands impacts. The CDFW Regional Banking Coordinator in the area of your bank is a great resource when considering where to locate a prospective bank. Bank sites that encompass the following features are encouraged by CDFW:

  • Support significant, high value biological resources, or where restoration is planned and feasible.
  • Contribute to a regional reserve system, conceptual area protection plan, or recovery strategy.
  • Are of sufficient size, are connected to other conserved lands, and that support contiguous habitat that will sustain their long-term biological integrity and viability.

Generally, lands that meet one or more of the following criteria are not appropriate for conservation/mitigation banking:

  • Department owned or conserved lands.
  • Land used as mitigation for a previous project(s).
  • Land already designated or dedicated for passive park or open space use, where that use is generally compatible with sustaining biological values.
  • Land purchased for designated purposes which are not consistent with habitat preservation, where the use of the land is irrevocably limited to the incompatible activity (e.g., lands purchased for roads, landfills, etc.).
  • Land acquired by a public entity (e.g., with State Bond Act funds) or provided to a jurisdiction for park or natural open space purposes. These criteria excludes land purchased by state and local agencies specifically for the purposes of mitigation or mitigation banking assuming the funding source is appropriate.
  • Lands with existing easements that are incompatible with the purposes of the bank.