Regional Credit Market for Species Conservation: Developing the Fort Hood Recovery Credit System
Authors: D. W. Wolfe, B. Hays, S. L. Farrell, S. Baggett
In 2005, Fort Hood Military Reservation (Fort Hood, TX, USA) staff sought assistance from the Texas Department of Agriculture and several partner organizations to develop a mitigation approach that included the ability to mitigate temporary impacts to habitat through temporary mitigation agreements with private landowners. Fort Hood, which is home to the largest known population of the federally endangered golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia; warbler), was at that time facing increased demands for military training activities that had the potential to disturb, but not likely destroy warbler habitat. Texas Department of Agriculture assembled an advisory committee and 3 stakeholder committees (science, economics, and policy), and tasked them with developing a cost-efficient system that provided the desired mitigation, while also contributing to the recovery of the warbler. The resulting Recovery Credit System (RCS) enabled Fort Hood to purchase both permanent and temporary credits that represent habitat conservation actions from private landowners for use to mitigate impacts on the installation. We describe our experiences developing and implementing the RCS and briefly discuss new regional credit markets now underway or in development in Utah, USA, for the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens); in Texas for the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus), golden-cheeked warbler, black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla), and lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus); and in Colorado, USA, for the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus).
Wolfe, D. W., B. Hays, S. L. Farrell, S. Baggett. 2012. Regional credit market for species conservation: developing the Fort Hood Recovery Credit System Wildlife Society Bulletin 36: 423–431.