The goal of the Conservation Credit System is for impacts from anthropogenic disturbances to be offset by habitat enhancement and protection that results in a net benefit for Greater Sage-Grouse in the State of Nevada.
Geographic & Participant Scope
The geographic scope of the Credit System is the Sagebrush Ecosystem Program's 2014 Sage-Grouse Management Area (SGMA).
Proposed anthropogenic disturbances on State of Nevada, BLM, USFS, and local government lands within the SGMA and that are determined to generate residual unavoidable impacts to Greater Sage-Grouse habitat require compensatory mitigation through the Credit System. Private landowners are not required to mitigate anthropogenic disturbances on their land; however, they are encouraged to voluntarily participate in the Credit System by generating or purchasing credits.
Organizational Structure & Roles
The organizational structure and interactions between the participants in the Conservation Credit System are depicted below.
Credit System Currency & Functional Acre Approach
Credits are the currency of the Credit System. A credit consists of verified habitat value that is made durable for the defined duration of the project through financial assurances and contract requirements to maintain habitat performance standards. Credits are primarily awarded for meeting habitat performances standards, not for implementing conservation practices.
Credits are used to offset debits, which represent units of Greater Sage-Grouse habitat value lost by anthropogenic disturbances. The credit obligation is the quantity of credits required to offset a debit project.
The Credit System measures habitat value in units of functional acres. Function refers to the role of the habitat in providing life history requirements for Greater Sage-Grouse, and includes the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic disturbances. Function is expressed as a percent function in relation to fully-functioning habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse. Functional acres are the product of percent function and acres within the relevant area assessed as illustrated below.
Take a look at the Manual for additional information about the Credit System, including details on how to generate credits and acquire credits, and management of the Conservation Credit System.