2013 Session

Budget Amendments - SB800 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Watkins
Forestry Lands for Mitigation (language only)

Item 102 #1s

Item 102 #1s

Agriculture And Forestry
Forestry, Department of

Page 81, after line 3, insert:
"K.  In any Virginia State Forest assigned to the Department of Forestry, for use, development and administration, no forest land can be used to provide compensatory mitigation for wetland or stream impacts of any public or private project.  Forest land means all sites, roadways, gamefood patches, ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, beaches, and lakes to which the Department of Forestry holds title for use, development, and administration."

(This amendment restricts the use of State Forest lands for mitigation of wetland or stream bank loss for any project. Guidance provided by Virginia’s Water Protection Program applies compensatory mitigation preferences of the U.S. EPA’s Mitigation Rule. This included a first preference in the use of a mitigation bank or banks if there are sufficient credits to offset the environmental impact of a development or project. State Forest lands are already protected, and use of such lands for compensatory mitigation to offset loss of wetland or stream resources will result in a net loss of wetland and stream resources in the Commonwealth. In addition, this amendment is intended to prevent Virginia’s government from unnecessarily competing with privately owned, funded and permitted mitigation banks. This amendment is intended to be included within the Department of Forestry management plan for each of its State Forests.)