Conservation banks are lands that are permanently protected and managed for endangered and threatened species. Species that are candidates for listing as endangered or threatened, or are otherwise at-risk may also be conserved through the establishment of conservation banks. In exchange for permanently protecting the land and managing it for these species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approves a specified number of credits that bank owners may sell. The credits approved within a conservation bank function to offset adverse impacts to these species that occurred elsewhere, sometimes referred to as off-site mitigation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published guidance for the Establishment, Use, and Operation of Conservation Banks (216 kB, PDF) in 2003.
Instructions for accessing approved conservation banks in the Austin, Texas Field Offices's area of responsibility through the Regulatory In-lieu fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS)
Access RIBITS using the website above, instructions for downloading and installing security certificates are provided on the site as this site is hosted by DOD.
On the lower left of the RIBITS main page choose to filter by FWS Field office and choose Austin under the drop down menu.
On the upper left hand side choose "Existing banks & ILF sites", all approved banks within the Austin Field Office area of responsibility (both wetland/stream and species banks) will appear in the center of the screen.
To see only USFWS approved conservation banks for listed species click the drop down arrow by “credit type” on top of the map and choose “species”. Now only conservation banks with species credits will be displayed.
Click on any one of the bank names and the information for that particular bank is shown on the screen.
To access the bank agreement and associated documents click on "cyber repository" on the upper right hand side of the screen.
The bank agreement for that particular bank is now listed under "Documents for (Bank Name)".
Click on the link and the document will open in full.