Photo by Conserve Fewell
Motivation and intent
Beyond traditional conservation methods, options to aid in a species recovery while providing financial incentives for landowners include market-based conservation efforts such as habitat exchange programs and conservation banks. In these programs, landowners receive payments from developers for committing to conserve and manage high quality habitat on their property. This process helps offset impacts from development by funding the long-term protection of important habitat, yet its ability to provide true benefits to the species is not well documented. Our project aimed to assess the ability of conservation banks to stabilize or increase populations of targeted species, determine if landowners would be interested in participating in the program, and estimate the potential market, costs, and benefits of establishing a conservation bank in Montana.
Research best management practices for a successful conservation bank
Develop and mechanism to translate habitat quality into tradable credits
Assess the credit market for a proposed bank near American Prairie Reserve
Estimate total costs and benefits of the bank from creation to long-term management
Banking as a Tool
We research the ability of a conservation bank to be a platform where ranchers, developers and conservationists come together to protect this species.
The Proposed Bank
We assess the interest of landowners in participating in a future bank, identify ideal locations for bank establishment, and project the statewide market for offset credits.
Costs and Benefits
We estimate and compare the financial costs and benefits of creating and managing a conservation bank, and highlight potential benefits to Greater Sage-grouse.