| A Zayante
Sandhills Conservation Bank — Summary of Benefits
Zayante Sandhills Conservation Bank (ZSCB) offers critically needed
conservation benefits, while streamlining the regulatory process for
local property owners and government agencies.
will play an indispensable role in preserving and restoring unique
sandhills habitat in Santa Cruz County. Its successful establishment
may prove to be a determining factor in ensuring the survival and
recovery of rare and endangered species of the sandhills, such as the
Mount Hermon June beetle, and in preserving the integrity of the
biological systems upon which these species depend.
Preserve (in perpetuity) much of the highest quality,
contiguous, undeveloped habitat that is essential for preservation of
the Zayante sandhills ecosystems. Compared to large numbers of
fragmented sites, these larger preserves offer superior habitat
conditions, and can be defended against various biological impacts that
are associated with urban and suburban development.
Provide high quality adaptive management and restoration
regimes necessary for survival and recovery of endangered species and
Initiate restoration projects quickly, thereby increasing
the likelihood of success.
Feasibly and frequently monitor biological conditions on
preserve sites -- an important component of management that is
difficult to achieve on a "backyard to backyard" basis.
Create a strong economic incentive for effective habitat
preservation by establishing clear requirements for biological
compliance on each preserve, including baseline data, significance
thresholds, and quantified performance criteria.
Create a compelling economic incentive for habitat
restoration by offering additional conservation credits for
successfully restored habitat.
Facilitate research and experimental management within the
preserves, thereby increasing the scientific understanding of sandhill
biological communities and of those measures necessary to assure
Fund educational programs for property owners in the
sandhills to further encourage avoidance of endangered species and
habitats, minimization of anthropogenic impacts, and increased
understanding and appreciation of the sandhills and their value.
Potentially increase visibility of development activities in
the sandhills, which would help to prevent undocumented "take" of
endangered species and habitat due to unauthorized development.
Create a strong economic incentive to minimize impacts on
smaller parcels by tying the cost of conservation credits directly to
the area of disturbance.
Fulfill the mission of the Federal Endangered Species Act
(FESA) and help to build public support for FESA and other legal
protections for endangered species by focusing on conservation actions
which offer the greatest benefit with the least red tape, and by
facilitating a clear, equitable, consistent regulatory process.
Create a precedent for an "ecocentric economy" by
establishing financial incentives that align economy with ecology. By
rewarding preservation rather than development, such financial
incentives can provide a sustainable vehicle for ecological protection
— something a purely regulatory approach cannot do.
Benefits to Government Agencies
Result in substantial savings of staff time, energy, and
resources at both the local and federal level -- thereby freeing these
resources for activities that can produce greater public and
Avoid financial risk to public and public-interest agencies.
Financial risk associated with land ownership, land management, and
management of the conservation bank is shouldered entirely by the
conservation bank sponsors.
Preserve limited public monies, including general and
Benefits to Property Owners
Provide an environmentally superior, cost-efficient
alternative for mitigating impacts to endangered species and habitat.
Not only are environmental benefits generally far superior to piecemeal
on-site or off-site mitigation, but also the costs to property owners
are likely to be considerably lower than those associated with
mitigations that must be developed on a case-by-case basis.