Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://www.restoringthewest.org/

Streaming Media

Abstract

Energy developments impact wildlife and biodiversity through their direct footprints including associated roads, powerlines, and other structures and through additional impacts to wildlife caused by behavioral avoidance of animals to structures or activities. Off-site mitigation offers a means of compensating for impacts, but will only be effective if benefits can be quantified and shown to be equivalent to the impacts. EMRI has been evaluating various programs and metrics for assessing off-site mitigation. NRCS ecological sites provide a classification tool that can be used to evaluate equivalency in ecosystem conditions, and can form the basis of measuring mitigation uplift through habitat improvements at off-site locations measured in comparison to site capabilities. Wildlife impacts and mitigation benefits can be evaluated through changes in habitat quality evaluated using habitat-based species viability assessments at appropriate landscape scales. A mitigation metric system using these methods was evaluated at 7 different locations throughout the sagebrush biome and shown to be an effective tool for quantifying impacts and benefits. These metrics can form an evaluation foundation for use in conservation banking, voluntary offset programs, or similar initiatives. Additional policy questions related to weighting of impacts and transferability of mitigation benefits must be considered before the metrics can be properly applied.

Jonathan Haufler, Ecosystem Management Research Institute, P.O. Box 717, Seeley Lake, MT 59868, Jon_Haufler@emri.org

Jonathan Haufler is the Executive Director of the Ecosystem Management Research Institute, an independent non-profit institute located in Montana. Previous positions have included Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Michigan State University and Manger of Wildlife and Ecology Programs for Boise Cascade Corporation. Jon earned a B.S. from the University of New Hampshire, M.S. from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University, all in wildlife biology. He is a certified wildlife biologist and is President-Elect of The Wildlife Society.

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Oct 30th, 9:20 AM Oct 30th, 10:00 AM

Strategies and Metrics for Mitigating Impacts of Energy Development on Biodiversity

USU Eccles Conference Center

Energy developments impact wildlife and biodiversity through their direct footprints including associated roads, powerlines, and other structures and through additional impacts to wildlife caused by behavioral avoidance of animals to structures or activities. Off-site mitigation offers a means of compensating for impacts, but will only be effective if benefits can be quantified and shown to be equivalent to the impacts. EMRI has been evaluating various programs and metrics for assessing off-site mitigation. NRCS ecological sites provide a classification tool that can be used to evaluate equivalency in ecosystem conditions, and can form the basis of measuring mitigation uplift through habitat improvements at off-site locations measured in comparison to site capabilities. Wildlife impacts and mitigation benefits can be evaluated through changes in habitat quality evaluated using habitat-based species viability assessments at appropriate landscape scales. A mitigation metric system using these methods was evaluated at 7 different locations throughout the sagebrush biome and shown to be an effective tool for quantifying impacts and benefits. These metrics can form an evaluation foundation for use in conservation banking, voluntary offset programs, or similar initiatives. Additional policy questions related to weighting of impacts and transferability of mitigation benefits must be considered before the metrics can be properly applied.

Jonathan Haufler, Ecosystem Management Research Institute, P.O. Box 717, Seeley Lake, MT 59868, Jon_Haufler@emri.org

Jonathan Haufler is the Executive Director of the Ecosystem Management Research Institute, an independent non-profit institute located in Montana. Previous positions have included Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Michigan State University and Manger of Wildlife and Ecology Programs for Boise Cascade Corporation. Jon earned a B.S. from the University of New Hampshire, M.S. from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University, all in wildlife biology. He is a certified wildlife biologist and is President-Elect of The Wildlife Society.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2012/october30/5