Company proposes mitigation project in Wyo.

Posted: May 15, 2013

Written by

Adam Voge, Billings Gazette/GW
Sage grouse

The plan for a 600,000-acre mitigation bank in Wyoming would benefit environmentalists, the state and energy developers, according to the men behind the idea.

The idea would allow companies to conserve land before they develop elsewhere. The current proposal involves a restoration project on a parcel of the 600,000 acres in return for credits on other lands for activities such as mining and road construction.

Jeff Meyer, managing partner of Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy LLC and the Sweetwater River Conservancy, and former Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) are the brains behind the concept. Meyer previously worked in the mitigation bank industry in Florida, where the concept flourished.

The men say such a system would, among other things, help protect sage grouse habitat and prevent water pollution.

They don't yet know what the credits would look like, but they say that, once studied, they could prove that mitigation and development would be able to balance each other.

"This isn't willy-nilly," Freudenthal said. "Companies are going to have to do a lot of work."



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