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Lake Wales Ridge

Permitted by USFWS

Scrub Jay Credits Available

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PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The USFWS has issued the permit for the Tippen Bay Conservation Bank (TBCB), located in southern DeSoto County, FL, and to date has released the 239.3 credits associated with Phase I of the bank which are available for sale. The TBCB has established and manages the property as a conservation area that provides off-site mitigation alternatives for public and private developers for permitted activities that involve impact to the Florida scrub-jay. The placement of this property under a conservation easement benefits a diverse assemblage of native wildlife and plant species by expanding the existing network of conservation lands, resulting in large contiguous tracts of managed habitats known as the Brighthour/Fisheating Creek Conservation Corridor. The Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), federally and state listed as threatened, is the primary target species for this conservation bank. Other federal and state listed species, as well as non-listed species will benefit from this project.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

  1. Preservation and management of land that currently is under threat of further conversion to agricultural use, and potential residential development.
  2. Restoration of improved pasture habitats to maximize the total amount of scrub and upland associated habitats available within the TBCB and the region for the target species and other listed and non-listed plant and wildlife species.
  3. Preservation of intact scrub and associated upland and wetland habitats that are currently utilized by scrub-jays, and will benefit this and other listed and non-listed plant and wildlife species.
  4. Maintain or increase the population of Florida scrub-jays on the TBCB.

These objectives will be accomplished by implementing a restoration program which includes restoration of converted upland habitats, monitoring to measure the effectiveness of the restoration, implementing a long term management program, and establishing a conservation easement and financial assurances to ensure the continued management of the TBCB in perpetuity. Due to the large area the entire TBCB encompasses, there a phased approach to the release of credits has been established.

PHASE 1 DESCRIPTION

Phase 1 comprises 239.3 acres, including 78.6 acres of Scrub-Jay Type I Habitat consisting of xeric oak scrub, and 100.1 acres of Type II Habitat, consisting of palmetto prairie. A total of 39.8 acres of habitat previously cleared, but currently utilized by scrub-jays, will be enhanced to provide native shrubland habitat that will serve as important connectors and foraging areas. Phase 1 is occupied by three groups of scrub-jays that are currently utilizing the xeric oak, palmetto prairie and improved pasture habitats. Phase 1 also includes habitats that make up a portion of the travel corridor that scrub-jays utilize to move between Phase 1 and Phase 2 and 3 habitats. Portions of these will be enhanced to improve the structure to be more conducive for jay movement. These corridors are highly significant to the long-term survival of this population and must be preserved and managed to allow for continued movement and future immigration. Enhancement of the 39.8 acres of pasture in Phase 1 has begun and achievement of success criteria will be demonstrated prior to release of Phase 2 credits.

Click HERE for the Tippen Bay Conservation Bank Certification Letter.

testimonial

Audubon of Florida is pleased to count Mitigation Marketing as one of our partners in conservation in Florida. We have found Mitigation Marketing to be a true innovator in the mitigation industry. Dennis Benbow and his staff are pioneering important efforts in both the Wetlands and Conservation banking fields. Mitigation Marketing is demonstrating that carefully thought out Wetlands and Conservation mitigation banks can be an important factor in the effort to conserve and restore many thousands of acres of what is best in Florida’s wildlife habitats and natural resources.

Charles Lee
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