BISMARCK, ND, – Tim McNaboe is a banker of sorts. The kind of bank he is setting up collects wetlands. McNaboe, an engineer with Ducks Unlimited, is establishing mitigation banks of restored wetlands that can be used to offset the impacts of wetlands lost due to construction or other activities.
“We’re looking for landowners who have legally drained wetlands DU can restore,” McNaboe said. “Mitigation rules require that DU restore and secure wetlands and a small buffer area through purchase or easement”
Federal law requires all construction projects using federal dollars have “no net loss” of wetland acres and function. Under the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sees that action is taken to offset unavoidable adverse impacts to wetlands, streams and other aquatic resources.
“Public agencies, like state departments of transportation, and private developers sometimes end up destroying wetlands during the construction process and need to mitigate for that loss by restoring or creating wetlands,” McNaboe said. “DU’s wetland mitigation bank will help them replace that habitat to meet federal guidelines.”
McNaboe will first be focusing on landowners in Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, but he will eventually be working in all of the states covered by DU’s Great Plains Regional Office, which also includes Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.
“We’re in the early stages of setting up banks right now,” he said. “Our preference is to restore drained wetlands because they already have the natural hydrology and soils for wetland development. The mitigation project site would have to get preliminary approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before we could move forward.”
McNaboe, a Williston, N.D. native, started with DU in March, coming from the Montana Department of Transportation where he worked as a wetland engineer and mitigation specialist. He also worked for the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources conducting wetland restorations.
Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres, thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.