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Farmers Flood Their Own Fields To Create Wildlife Habitat

January 2011

(Washington, DC) — Experts from The Nature Conservancy explore new ways of paying farmers for conservation in the January/February 2011 issue of the National Wetlands Newsletter. In their article, Farming for Wildlife, the authors describe how this pioneering effort pays farmers to periodically flood their fields to create wetland habitat for wildlife threatened by diminishing freshwater resources. Early results show a substantial increase in migratory birds, and the flooding appears to have a positive effect on soil quality as well.

Also in this issue:

  • A leading attorney in landmark Clean Water Act cases presents his argument for improving the complicated jurisdictional process for determining the Act’s protection of wetlands. Using long-standing legal ideas, Lawrence Liebesman and his colleagues explore whether proximate causation and foreseeability principles can end the search for a significant nexus.
  • Valerie Layne, the Conservation Banking Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s in Sacramento, explains how her agency layers multiple credit types for mitigation banks in California—offering bankers the opportunity to incorporate credits for wetlands and endangered species, while eliminating the risk of “double dipping.” Mitigation banking expert Craig Denisoff looks at the challenges faced when exclusively using watersheds as service area boundaries and offers ideas on incorporating ecoregions into the fold.

For three decades, the nationally recognized National Wetlands Newsletter has been a widely read and esteemed journal on wetlands, floodplains, and coastal water resources. The Newsletter, published by the highly respected Environmental Law Institute®, analyzes the latest issues in wetland regulation, policy, science, and management through feature articles written by local, national, and international experts from a variety of perspectives.