Ecological restoration of 113-acre peat bog creates a $15 million asset in Vancouver, WA

An empty field in the northeast corner of Vancouver, Washington, one that looks ripe for a new subdivision, has become one construction firm’s asset precisely because it will never be developed.

The 113-acre former peat bog is now known as Terrace Mitigation Bank. It will be rehabbed over the next decade and conserved for the foreseeable future.

Its owner, Terrace Mitigation Bank LLC, stands to generate millions in revenues by restoring it and selling those efforts as credits to local developers, whose projects may cause ecological damage.

It’s very unique in that what we’re selling is not a good or service,” said Cornell Rotschy, co-owner of the bank and a co-owner of Rotschy Inc., a construction firm in Clark County.

Wetland banks like these are privately owned restoration efforts, overseen by the Washington Department of Ecology.

As a wetland is restored, the agency doles out credits to be sold to public or private developers.

The value of the credits will fluctuate with the real estate market, Rotschy said.

A credit today would cost around $190,000, he said, and the bank is expected to generate 81 credits in the end. At today’s value, that would be $15.2 million.

Images courtesy of Washington Dept. of Ecology.

See full article by Troy Brynelson in The Columbian.

See Terrace Mitigation Bank website.

You must be logged in to post a comment