American Burying Beetle
Our team entered the conservation banking in 2014 with the creation of the Muddy Boggy Conservation Bank (MBCB), which was the first approved American Burying Beetle (ABB) conservation bank. The bank is a 3,060-acre tract of prime habitat located in Pontotoc, Hughes and Coal Counties in Oklahoma, with both preservation and restoration components. It was permitted and received an initial credit release from the USFWS in 2014. MBCB provides offsets to both temporary and permanent unavoidable impacts to ABB habitat throughout most of Oklahoma.
In 2014, we facilitated a bulk credit reservation with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to offset ABB impacts for multiple transportation projects throughout the state. In a similar transaction the same year, we provided ABB credits to an electric transmission company to be used for multiple projects over several years. To meet increased demand in Oklahoma, additional lands are planned for enrollment into the ABB conservation bank. AEL is currently adding portions of an 11,000-acre tract and portions of a 1,067-acre tract into our Oklahoma ABB program. We are also working with the Conway USFWS Field Office to develop ABB offsets in Arkansas on a 150-acre tract in Franklin County that has suitable ABB habitat. The locale of this site was chosen in coordination with the Conway USFWS Field Office. The site is located within 1.5 miles of Arkansas National Guard Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center, which is the bastion of ABB populations in western Arkansas. Mitigation in proximity to Chaffee is a high priority for USFWS.
The Dirty Creek Conservation Bank (Bank), consists of approximately 1,032 acres and is located approximately 16 miles south of Muskogee and 6 miles north of Warner, in the northeast corner of McIntosh County, Oklahoma.
Lesser Prairie Chicken
In 2008, we worked with the USFWS on developing a privately funded habitat conservation alternative for the Lesser Prairie Chicken. The team worked closely with several state and federal agencies during initial diligence but ultimately determined the LPC offset market was not financially viable at the time. Where alternative mitigation solutions are available, we have experience working as a broker on behalf of our many clients to develop a solution that is both cost-effective and acceptable to the resource agencies. Our close working relationship with the USFWS allows us to present creative, ecologically sound solutions with confidence.
The team is currently working on developing new opportunities with species that include Ocelots, Dakota Skipper butterflies and karst species, among others. In addition to our strong working relationship with the USFWS Tulsa Field Office, our team has experience working with USFWS offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bismarck, North Dakota; Corpus Christi, Texas; Austin, Texas and Lakewood, Colorado.