Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

San Diego's Largest Privately-Initiated Conservation Bank Established

Jan 19, 2011

January 18, 2011
Contacts: 
Sheryll Givens, TRS Consultants – 619-299-2525
Jane Hendron – Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office – 760-431-9440 ext.205

San Diego's Largest Privately-Initiated Conservation Bank Established 

Carlsbad, CA – TRS Consultants, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, has signed into effect San Diego County’s largest privately-initiated conservation bank in recent years. TRS worked with a talented team consisting of Jim Chaffin, property owner; Vince Scheidt, project biologist; Wesley Peltzer, attorney; Gary Piro, engineer; and Wallace Tucker of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy. 

Red Mountain Conservation Bank is a 566-acre property located in Fallbrook with 537.66 acres of credit available for purchase. 

“The Fish and Wildlife Service strongly supports the development of conservation banks, like Red Mountain, because such banks provide landowners with an economic return on their property while helping conserve our native wildlife and their associated habitats,” said Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor of the Service’s Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office. 

This bank will place a permanent conservation easement on the land to aid in conserving the federally threatened coastal California gnatcatcher as well as its coastal sage scrub, chaparral, native and non-native grassland, oak woodland and riparian habitats. 

“The Red Mountain Conservation Bank supports an extremely rich diversity of native species, including hundreds of native plant and animal species. The vast majority of the property is in a natural, undisturbed state, making its biological resource value very high.” said Vince Scheidt, project biologist, who has worked on the property since 2001. 

“The Red Mountain bank will preserve a prime tract of open space with high habitat value and a critical location near the entrance to Fallbrook,” said Wallace Tucker, Chairman of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, which will hold the conservation easement on the property. 

As a long-time resident of the Fallbrook community, property owner, Jim Chaffin added, “At one point, our plan was to develop this property into residential lots, but we realized the many benefits a conservation bank would offer the surrounding community.” 

Not only do conservation banks preserve valuable environmental resources, but they also provide many functional business advantages. Because the conservation bank credits already exist, purchasing credits from a conservation bank decreases permitting time for developers. 

A key feature that the Red Mountain Conservation Bank offers is that it will allow for Homeland Security and other federal projects to move forward. In addition to the Red Mountain Conservation Bank, TRS Consultants has other mitigation banking prospects in the pipeline and will continue to provide San Diego County with innovative and valuable resource opportunities. 

For additional information, please contact Sheryll Givens of TRS Consultants at sheryll@trs-sandiego.com or Jane Hendron of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at Jane_Hendron@fws.gov.