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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

2009 Environmental Excellence Awards

For Excellence in Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife – Ecosystems (II): Oregon Department of Transportation Vernal Pool Mitigation and Conservation Bank

Agencies Awarded

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)

The Nature Conservancy

Oregon Department of State Lands

US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

ODOT created the first conservation bank in the State of Oregon, the Vernal Pool Mitigation and Conservation Bank, in the Rogue Valley. Vernal pools are unique environments that fill with water during rainy seasons of the year and dry out during others. ODOT enlisted USFWS and State and local resource agencies to find a vernal pool preservation site that would contribute to the conservation of rare species and habitats. The agencies unanimously chose an 80.23-acre site located directly adjacent to The Nature Conservancy's Whetstone Savanna Preserve. Together, the mitigation bank and the preserve will provide 160 acres of contiguous high-functioning vernal pool habitat. The complex will be protected by The Nature Conservancy to sustain wetland functions and values. Habitat will be provided for large-flowered woolly meadowfoam and Cook's lomatium, two endangered plant species, as well as the threatened vernal pool fairy shrimp. In addition to addressing species issues, the bank is available to compensate for impacts to wetlands. ODOT's collaboration with resource agencies and the Conservancy exemplifies a carefully researched mitigation project that preserves wildlife habitat in a unique and sensitive ecosystem.

Project Contributors:

Brad Livingston
Bill Warncke
The Nature Conservancy
Darren Borgias
Mark Stern
Derek Johnson
Brian Todd
Keith Perchemlides
Oregon Department of State Lands
Dana Field
John Marshall
Joe Zisa
Craig Tuss
Sam Friedman
Mike Turaski
Jaimee Davis

Photo of vernal pool preservation site next to The Nature Conservancy in Rogue Valley, Oregon.

Updated: 10/25/2012
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