White Fox Creek, part of the 581,000-acre Boone River Watershed and was subject to frequent inundation and overbank flows. The region was historically converted from wet prairie to agricultural use, with substantial surface and subsurface drainage and only a small fraction of wetlands remaining. A private landowner along the creek’s floodplain sought to restore its connectivity to White Fox Creek by returning wetlands to the watershed. As part of the project, the landowner hoped to create a compensatory mitigation bank. In doing so, it was essential to prevent negative impacts to neighboring properties and prove the case for restoration to environmental regulators.
By hiring a team of scientists and engineers, the landowner was able to provide project analysis and document the likelihood of success, particularly highlighting how the restoration would enhance the streambed’s hydrology. As a result, the project was approved by the Interagency Review Team (IRT), and design and construction to be completed in 2020.
Per IRT requirements, the mitigation bank is subject to the terms of a bank instrument, or an agreement between the landowner and regulators. Terms of this instrument require ongoing monitoring and maintenance, completed biannually until all of the bank’s mitigation credits have been sold—an estimated seven years for the White Fox bank. The Foth team was brought in to provide all monitoring and maintenance activities and to help the landowner market mitigation credits to potential buyers.
Ongoing work at White Fox includes documenting hydrology of the bank and monitoring its vegetation, as well as identifying development of hydric soils. Other activities include stream monitoring, invasive species monitoring, and observation of species composition and survivability in the reforested portions of the mitigation bank. Results of all work are submitted to the IRT via midyear and annual reports that provide updates on the bank’s health and effectiveness.
In total, the bank generated 43,600 stream mitigation credits and 32 wetland mitigation credits. Credits have been marketed and sold to numerous public and private clients throughout the service area.
The landowner is more than pleased with the success of the White Fox Mitigation Bank and our role in its continued upkeep. As a result, the landowner is currently looking to develop a second bank on an adjacent parcel, utilizing the Foth team for both design and maintenance of the new location. Approval for White Fox Creek Phase II Mitigation Bank is during the 2023 calendar year.
Services: Environmental and Regulatory Services