MITIGATION EASEMENTS

The Challenge

Streams and wetlands are some of our most treasured ecosystems, yet they are also among the most vulnerable natural areas to impacts from land uses such as development, road projects, and agriculture.  Under the federal Clean Water Act, impacts to streams and wetlands caused by certain land use projects (such as widening a road or bridge, or construction of a new highway) must be mitigated by restoring or protecting similar streams and wetlands in the same watershed or nearby areas.

There are often questions about which organization or agency should permanently protect these sites, and how those protection strategies should be structured.  In some cases, they are too small or isolated to be suitable for a conservation organization or land trust to add to their mission-focused land protection efforts, while public agencies may not be chartered or staffed to take on the responsibility.

Regulators are often frustrated about inconsistent levels of protection for these sites, land conservation groups may be frustrated by projects that are a mismatch for their mission, and mitigation companies are frustrated by inefficiencies of dealing with many different groups with different cultures and procedures in order to meet their requirements to protect these sites across a region.

Proud to be Part of the Solution

Unique Places To Save takes a solution-oriented approach to these challenges by working closely with stream and wetland mitigation companies and with  regulatory agencies at the state and federal level. We take on the responsibility of accepting and holding conservation easements to ensure the stream or wetlands that have been restored or protected will remain as healthy natural areas “in perpetuity” -- forever.

Unique Places To Save is proud to be playing a role in dozens of mitigation easement projects protecting hundreds of acres across North Carolina, and new projects pending in South Carolina and Virginia.  We take this work seriously, using a service-oriented approach that recognizes the expertise and effort put into these projects by reputable mitigation companies and the agencies that regulate them.

 
 

The Unique Places To Save Approach

Our role is to work well with all partners, including the landowners, to ensure that these streams and wetlands provide water quality benefits and natural habitat for wildlife and plants indefinitely.  Ultimately, they can become building blocks for much larger watershed protection and education efforts in communities across the region.

Our team of seasoned conservation professionals has the experience to understand the mitigation process and the value we can offer by streamlining the easement process and serving as long-term stewards of mitigation sites.

Our responsive, nimble approach is designed to lead the way toward a more efficient and effective mitigation easement process for all parties involved. We are committed to working with industry and agencies to develop easement solutions for consistency across multiple sites and geographic regions.

Our innovative use of GIS and field technology allows us to keep costs down while providing high levels of service for accurate monitoring and reporting, year in and year out.

We pride ourselves in building positive, lasting relationships with landowners who are the ultimate stewards of these mitigation properties, thereby ensuring that easements will not be compromised in the future.  We also retain a robust legal defense expertise and funding if easement enforcement is ever needed.


To learn more about how Unique Places To Save approach can benefit mitigation projects, please contact David Harper, Executive Director, by email at info@uniqueplacestosave.org or by phone at 803.553.1644.