MACo Calls for Continuity and Clarity for Forest Conservation Banking

On February 24th, 2021 MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee to support HB 991 Natural Resources – Forest Mitigation Banks – Qualified Preservation with amendments. This bill ensures that practices related to forest conservation banking continue. Counties have voiced support for clarifying amendments on the intent of the bill and its application.

From the MACo Testimony:

An October opinion from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) indicates that credits allotted for existing forest may no longer be permissible, which would put existing practices in jeopardy and hinder both public and private development capability. Since the issuance of the opinion, mitigation banks have sold through most or all of their existing credits. HB 991 clarifies that existing forested areas are eligible for credits under forest mitigation bank programs. Current incentives for creating or restoring “new” forested areas are preserved, but already existing forest remains a useful tool for mitigation banks.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.