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Long Tom Wetland Mitigation Bank now open for business
02/04/2009
 
For immediate release                                                                     09-04
 
More information:    Dana Field – 503-986-5238
                                  Tim Acker – 541-327-3427
 
135-acre parcel will provide restored wetlands near the Long Tom River
 
Junction City - A patchwork of riparian forest, wetland prairie, shallow-water wetlands and small stands of Valley Ponderosa Pine is being created as a business venture designed to replace wetlands lost to development in the south Willamette Valley.
 
"This could be one of the best sites for wetland mitigation I’ve ever seen in the valley," said Tim Acker, the bank’s sponsor and a wetland consultant. "While working, I saw the potential in this piece of property and found a business partner to help purchase the land and set up the bank, which was approved by the regulatory agencies last summer." 
 
A wetland mitigation bank is a business in which the bank sponsor restores, creates or enhances wetlands, and sells credits to developers who need to offset their wetland impacts to obtain a state or federal removal-fill permit.
 
The Long Tom Wetland Mitigation Bank, located a few miles west of Junction City, is adjacent to a previously restored 200-acre wetland habitat project, and therefore provides a larger area of wildlife habitat in the middle of the valley than the bank alone would accomplish.
 
The initial grading and planting have recently been completed, and 18 credits have been released for sale, said Dana Field, wetland bank specialist at the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL). "Over the next several years, the bank is expected to generate a total of 60 credits from wetland restoration. One credit is equivalent to one acre of wetland impact," said Field.
 
Construction projects with unavoidable wetland impacts must be located in the bank’s service area, which extends from the Eugene/Springfield area north to Albany. Also, the type of wetlands impacted must match the types restored at the bank: wet prairie, emergent and forested wetlands.
 
The Long Tom bank is the 19th wetland mitigation bank approved in Oregon. Eight additional private bank proposals are in various stages of development. DSL and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in collaboration with other resource agencies, review and approve mitigation banks' plans, and release credits for a bank site when it reaches pre-approved performance milestones.
 
General information on banking and maps of all the mitigation bank service areas are available on DSL's and the Corps' Web sites:
 
http://www.oregonstatelands.us
 
www.nwp.usace.army.mil
 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ben Westlund. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.
 
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