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Office: 561-662-5963
Fax: 561-369-2804
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Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 740631
Boynton Beach, FL 33474


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Frequently Asked Questions

This is where you will find most answers. If there should still be any questions left, don't hesitate to contact us.
What is A Conservation bank?

A conservation bank is a parcel of land containing natural resource values that are conserved and managed in perpetuity, for specific; Federally listed, Threatened, and Endangered species.

A proposed bank undergoes detailed and extensive review and examination by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. If Approved and Certified by the Service, the Conservation Bank lands are managed and maintained following an approved, Management Plan designed to protect and improve its natural resource value to the listed species. A Conservation Easement is usually used to provide permanent protection of the land. A non-wasting fund, provided by the Conservation Bank, provides funds for the perpetual care and maintenance of the land and the continued benefit to the listed species. The natural resource values are translated into Conservation Credits, which may be sold to offset impacts to listed species elsewhere.

WHY DO I NEED A CONSERVATION BANK?

Because of Florida’s weather, economy, and low taxes, the population, and subsequent development have been growing exponentially. Unfortunately, the human population often grows at the expense of wildlife populations.

Florida has the 2nd highest number of endangered species in the US and as the population grows; the amount of habitat available for the Florida panther and other species, whether listed or not, continues to decline. Conservation Banks provide habitat for all native species, including those listed as Threatened and Endangered, in perpetuity, with no cost to the public purse. Our Conservation Banks proactively preserves large, contiguous, and viable tracts of native Florida habitat. Through a combination of comprehensive large-scale planning and a coordinated mitigation strategy, the Banks reduce conflicts and costs between development and conservation aims, thereby increasing the ecological effectiveness of our conservation strategy.

Will our project impact the habitat of the Florida Panther?
If your project is in Florida, you are probably impacting the historical range of the Florida panther. However, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency charged by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with protecting all of Americas’ wildlife resources, is responsible for making the ultimate decision. If you are uncertain, you should consult your environmental professional. They work in this area daily and should be able to answer your question. You may also contact the nearest USFWS office. As a rule of thumb, any project within or likely to adversely impact the area known as the Florida Panther Focus Area will normally require compensatory habitat mitigation.
Our project lies within the Panther Focus Area, will we need to mitigate for the impact to the habitat of the Florida Panther?
It is difficult to generalize, counties may have their own requirements and should be consulted. However, if your project will require a permit from any Federal Agency, that permitting agency is required by the Endangered Species Act to formally consult with the USFWS. This is normally called a “Section 7 Consultation”. (In limited instances there can be other types of consultations). Ultimately, the USFWS makes the determination and informs the permitting agency. Normally, as your project is within the Panther Focus Area, it will require compensatory mitigation.
How do we know how much habitat compensatory mitigation will be required?
Ultimately, the USFWS is responsible for determining the appropriate mitigation, both quality and quantity. However, the Service has developed an informal tool that is used to help determine the mitigation required. On a landscape level, the tool looks at the impact site and assigns values to each land/habitat type based upon its value to the Florida Panther. These values are part of the calculus used to determine the mitigation requirement. The same process applies to the mitigation site. Your environmental professional can help you estimate how much, if any compensatory habitat mitigation will be required.
Why should we utilize the services of a commercial habitat conservation bank, such as Florida Panther Conservation Bank?
The answer to this question lies at the heart of the success of the mitigation banking industry. The basic answer for most concerns is an economic one. A Conservation Bank, such as Florida Panther Conservation Bank can provide the compensatory mitigation more efficiently and usually at a considerable savings! Additionally, the Conservation Bank assumes all of the risk for the mitigation. As the conservation credits are earned in advance, when transferred there is no risk of failure.