[Federal Register: May 8, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 89)]
[Page 24753]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Guidance for the Establishment, Use, and Operation of 
Conservation Banks

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are announcing 
availability of guidance for the establishment, use, and operation of 
conservation banks. Conservation banks are a tool to offset adverse 
impacts to species listed as threatened or endangered under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The purpose of this 
guidance is to help Service personnel evaluate and approve conservation 
banks in the context of fulfilling the purposes of the Endangered 
Species Act.

ADDRESSES: You can obtain an electronic copy of the guidance from the 
Fish and Wildlife Service's Web site at ``http://endangered.fws.gov/''. 
You can also request a copy of the guidance by contacting the Division 
of Consultation, Habitat Conservation Planning, Recovery and State 
Grants, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 
420, Arlington, Virginia 22203 (Telephone 703/358-2171, Facsimile 703/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Leonard, Chief, Division of 
Consultation, Habitat Conservation Planning, Recovery and State Grants, 
Fish and Wildlife Service (Telephone 703/358-2171, Facsimile 703/358-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A conservation bank is a parcel of land 
containing natural resource values that are conserved and managed in 
perpetuity for listed species and used to offset impacts to the 
comparable resource values on non-bank lands occurring elsewhere. The 
bank is specifically managed and protected by the banker or designee 
for its natural resource values. The values of the natural resources 
are translated into quantified ``credits.'' The bank owner sells 
habitat ``credits'' to parties that need to compensate for the 
environmental impacts of their activities. A conservation bank is a 
free-market enterprise that offers landowners economic incentives to 
protect natural resources, saves developers time and money by providing 
them with certainty of pre-approved compensation lands, and provides 
long-term protection of habitat. Conservation banking creates a 
collaborative incentive based approach where habitat for listed species 
is treated as an asset rather than a liability.
    The Service has already entered into several agreements with 
landowners to establish conservation banks, mainly in the southwest and 
the southeast areas of the country. We believe that guidance will help 
establish conservation banks in other parts of the country. Please 
refer to the ADDRESSES section of this notice for information on how to 
obtain a copy of the guidance.

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: April 25, 2003.
Matt Hogan,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-11458 Filed 5-7-03; 8:45 am]