Conserve native wildlife habitat, wetlands and water bodies
Work with the state's Natural Heritage Program, a local fish or wildlife agency, or the state fish and wildlife agency to determine if significant habitat occurs on the site. If significant habitat is found, do not disturb that significant habitat or portions of the site within an appropriate buffer around the habitat. The geographic extent of the habitat and the appropriate buffer shall be identified by a qualified biologist, a non-governmental conservation organization or the appropriate state, regional or local agency. Protect significant habitat and its identified buffers from development in perpetuity by donating or selling the land or a conservation easement on the land to an accredited land trust or relevant public agency. Significant habitat for this credit includes:
- Habitat for species that are listed or are candidates for listing under state or federal endangered species acts, or for those classified as G1, G2, G3 and/or S1 and S2 species by NatureServe (see note below about G and S classification); and
- Locally or regionally significant habitat, or patches of natural vegetation at least 150 acres in size (irrespective of whether some of the 150 acres lies outside the project boundary); and
- Habitat flagged for conservation under a regional or state conservation or green infrastructure plan;
If the project is located on a previously developed site, use native plants for 90% of vegetation, and use no invasive plants on any part of the site;
Option 3 – For sites with wetlands and/or water bodies
Design the project to conserve 100% of all water bodies and wetlands on the site; and conduct an assessment, or compile existing assessments, showing the extent to which water bodies and/or wetlands on the site perform the following functions: 1) water quality maintenance, 2) wildlife habitat protection, and 3) hydrologic function maintenance, including flood protection. Assign appropriate buffers (not less than 100 feet) around the development footprint throughout the site based upon the functions provided, contiguous soils and slopes, and contiguous land uses; and protect wetlands, water bodies, and their buffers from development in perpetuity by donating or selling the land or a conservation easement on the land to an accredited land trust or relevant public agency.