Department of Fish and Game Temporarily Halts Mitigation Banking Program

On March 14, 2012, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced that budget cuts have made it infeasible for the agency to review and approve new mitigation banking proposals statewide. DFG acknowledges that banking is an important mitigation tool and hopes the pause in banking activities is short-lived. DFG will sign bank agreements that are close to being completed, although it did not state what it considers “close.” DFG will not, however, be approving new banking programs and stated it may not have the capacity to process major amendments to existing agreements. The halt in DFG’s review of new banking programs is temporary and DFG stated that it is open to suggestions from the public for funding options.  Once program funding is secured, DFG hopes to resume banking activities. At this time, DFG does not have a timeline by which it expects to resume its mitigation banking program.