Measuring stream functions: Building a Compensatory Mitigation Framework for Aquatic Resources in Oregon
NOTE THE NEW LOCATION FOR THIS MONTH'S SPEAKER!!
The federal Final Compensatory Mitigation Rule (2008) promotes the use of function or condition assessments to determine the appropriate amount of compensatory mitigation to replace the loss of functions due to unavoidable impacts to all aquatic resources. It also encourages a watershed approach to compensatory mitigation decision-making. Currently, compensatory mitigation for impacts to streams in Oregon is not routinely required and mitigation for impacts to wetland is not replacing all lost ecological functions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (co-administrators of Section 404), Oregon Department of State Lands (state permitting agency), and Willamette Partnership are leading an effort to develop a science-based Mitigation Framework which provides for more function-based mitigation for unavoidable impacts to the stream and wetland resources in Oregon.
This presentation will focus on current efforts and challenges in developing the necessary framework elements for a more function, and watershed, based compensatory mitigation program for streams. This includes developing more functional assessment methodologies to quantify credits and set performance standards, site selection criteria based on watershed goals, and accounting structures to improve functional replacement while avoiding double dipping.
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