Habitat Mitigation

Washington County, MO

Towering trees

Ted Heisel, former OLT Executive Director, was integrally involved in the pictured project in Washington County, MO.

Can we mitigate the harm of development on wildlife? A practice pursued under the federal Endangered Species Act attempts to do just that. When a listed species is found in the path of a utility line or building project the developer is often required to protect habitat for the species elsewhere to provide “compensatory mitigation.”

A babbling creek flowing through a forest

Over the past 20 years, OLT has agreed to hold conservation easements on several tracts of land to protect streams, wetlands, and forests to offset impacts on those resources. One such project came about in 2016 when a national retail chain built a large distribution center. To offset the loss of forests that were the habitat of the endangered Indiana bat, the company was required to fund the placement of a conservation easement on 193 acres of forest nearby. That forestland will now remain protected in perpetuity to serve as an enduring refuge for the bats and other wildlife.










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