Earlier this month Westervelt Ecological Services participated in the Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosystem Partnership (GCPEP) cooperative prescribed burn. The group had a monumental task to safely burn approximately 1,200 acres adjacent to I-10 in Florida. Westervelt’s Pensacola Bay Mitigation Bank was part of the area burned.
This burn is a good example of showing how private/public partnerships can come together to meet common conservation objectives. On average, WES burns roughly 1000 acres each year, mostly on banks located in the Southeast. Though not a panacea to habitat restoration, prescribed burning remains an extremely viable land management tool for Westervelt Ecological Services, and is one we will continue to use.
Most of the surrounding land use is either in rice production or managed as wetlands for migratory and resident species. The rice fields provide suitable habitat features for foraging GGS and expand the potential migration corridor between the Bank and habitats beyond the constraints of the channelized waterways.
CBMB is approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to provide mitigation credits to offset impacts to the giant garter snake and 404 seasonal wetlands. The CBMB service areas include portions of Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Colusa, Yolo, Sutter, and Solano counties and will assist in fulfilling the species mitigation needs due to the significant economic growth in areas, such as development along the Interstate 5 corridor.
To learn more about the site and the credits available visit the project page or contact Jeff Mathews or Travis Hemmen.