|New Mitigation Bank Approved inGalveston District
|Lost Creek Brake Mitigation Bank
Service Area: Lower Sabine and Toledo Bend Reservoir
|MSUSA is all geared up for 2020 as we have exciting things in store. We are pleased to announce the upcoming Lost Creek Brake Mitigation Bank* (SWG-2014-00895) in Newton County, Texas. Lost Creek Brake Mitigation Bank received its notice of intent to be approved on December 11, 2019. Forested Wetland Credits will be available to offset projects in the Lower Sabine HUC 12010005 and the Toledo Bend Reservoir HUC 12010004. Additionally, the service area includes portions of Newton, Jasper, and Orange counties.
The Sabine River was named by Spanish explorers for the many large bald cypress trees observed along the river in the early 1700's, hence the name Rio de Sabinas (Long 2010). Likely, many of the older bald cypress/tupelo trees found on the Bank today were present during that time. Based on a sample of increment cores, published research, regional historical accounts, and remote sensing of historical aerials, we estimate roughly three cohorts of bald cypress age classes on the site. As the age of the trees in these groupings decrease, the frequency of occurrence increases. Thus, the relatively few, largest relic trees on-site may only be guessed to be approaching millennial status (likely extant well back into the precolonial era). The next cohort is estimated to vary in age from several to many centuries old and are more numerous. The most abundant cohort of cypress trees is estimated to be 120 years of age, which parallels anecdotal accounts of the last known timber harvesting activities on the tract, as well as regional historical reports. Most of the water tupelo trees that were not directly damaged during the harvesting activities remain and are considerably older than the youngest cohort of bald cypress. Taken together, this site represents a "least disturbed" reference condition for alluvial river bald cypress/tupelo wetlands in the lower Sabine River watershed.
Currently, ubiquitous demand for specialized wood products from many hardwoods, specifically mature bald cypress and tupelo trees, threaten the continued integrity of this unique forested wetland community. Such pressures are increasing concomitant with demands of an ever-expanding human population. As such, protection of these unique and difficult-to-replace habitats is critical to maintaining biodiversity within the watershed.
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|*The Bank will to be used to provide compensatory mitigation for Department of the Army (DA) permits pursuant to 33 C.F.R. 332.8(a)(1). In general, the Bank will be used to compensate for impacts within the Service Area resulting from activities authorized under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (Federal Water Pollution Control Act) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899), provided that such activities have met all applicable requirements and are authorized by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Compensation will be provided in the form of Palustrine Forested Wetland (PFO) habitat located within the Bank. Prepared: 01-27-2020