The Pathfinder Ranches Wyoming Sage-grouse Mitigation Credit Estimator (SGMCE) estimates the number of credits needed to offset the impact of a proposed action that cannot be avoided or minimized, so that project permitting can proceed. However, the app output is an estimate until the appropriate regulatory body (state and/or federal) has verified that input values for a project are accurate according to state and federal
SGMCE estimates the number of credits that meet the standard of the Wyoming Credit Definition in the Wyoming Greater Sage-grouse Compensatory Mitigation Framework, that are required to offset the impact of a project. The purpose of the Wyoming Credit definition is to set a rigorous biological and policy-compliant standard for credits that will ensure impacts to sage-grouse are offset in a manner that benefits greater sage-grouse and the Wyoming Core Area Strategy—while simultaneously providing for economic development in
Pathfinder Ranches credits not only meet the highest standard of the Wyoming Credit Definition (SRC meets all mandatory requirements, has no discounted factors, and SRC credits include a landscape support additional valuation); SRC credits also include the additional benefit of being from a USFWS Approved Conservation Bank. USFWS Approved the SRC Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Conservation Bank in December of
It is uncertain if the USFWS will continue to approve conservation banks for Greater sage-grouse since the species was not listed in 2015. The Wyoming Credit Definition is rigorous and appropriate for mitigating impacts, and incorporates many of the requirements of a USFWS approved Conservation Bank. However, that notwithstanding, only SRC has USFWS approved credits. The potential importance of such an approval as an assurance to a project proponent is noteworthy for Section 7 and other potential regulatory requirements if sage-grouse were to become a candidate or listed species in the future. USFWS has committed to conducting another status review in 2020 to determine if greater sage-grouse warrant listing.