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PROFILE: Wetland Mitigation Banking: A Framework for Crediting and Debiting

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Biological Report

88(41):1–103), assessment of credits and determination of a compensation ratio that reflects existing and/or potential functional condition in a mitigation bank has been a formidable task. This study presents a framework for a systematic approach for determination of credits and debits and subsequently the compensation ratio. A model for riparian systems is developed based on this framework that evaluates credits and debits for spatial and structural diversity, contiguity of habitats, invasive vegetation, hydrology, topographic complexity, characteristics of flood-prone areas, and biogeochemical processes. The goal of developing this crediting and debiting framework is to provide an alternative to the current methods of determining credits and debits in a mitigation bank and assigning mitigation ratios, such as best professional judgement or use of preset ratios. The purpose of this crediting and debiting framework is to develop a method that (1) can be tailored to evaluate ecological condition based on the target resources of a specific mitigation bank, (2) is flexible enough to be used for evaluation of existing or potential ecologic condition at a mitigation bank, (3) is a structured and systematic way to apply data and professional judgment to the decision-making process, (4) has an ecologically defensible basis, (5) has ease of use such that the level of expertise and time required to employ the method is not a deterrent to its application, and (6) provides a semiquantitative measure of the condition of aquatic resources that can be translated to a mitigation ratio.

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Stein, E., Tabatabai, F. & Ambrose, R. PROFILE: Wetland Mitigation Banking: A Framework for Crediting and Debiting. Environmental Management 26, 233–250 (2000).

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