Conservation Credit System

What is a conservation credit system?

Conservation credit systems are a pro-active solution to ensure impacts from human activities generate a net benefit for the species, while enabling human activities vital to the economy. Nevada's Conservation Credit System (CCS) creates new incentives: 1) to avoid and minimize impacts to important habitat for species; and, 2) for private landowners and public land managers to preserve, enhance, and restore the ecosystem, while reducing the threat of wildfire to important habitat for species in the ecosystem.

It is a market-based mechanism that quantifies conservation outcomes (credits) and impacts from human activities (debits), as market transactions, and reports the overall progress from implementation of conservation actions. The credit system establishes the policy, operations, and tools necessary to facilitate more effective and efficient conservation investments. It is intended to provide regulatory certainty for landowners by addressing compensatory mitigation needs whether or not a species is listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The Nevada CCS aims to produce net benefits for the greater sage-grouse, create regulatory certainty regarding conservation of the species, and ensure that conservation measures in the State of Nevada are sufficient to preclude listing. However, should the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determine on a range-wide basis to list the species as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act; the Nevada CCS will strive to provide management certainty to Nevada's landowners, and a means to continue using their lands for a full range of activities post-listing.

    What is the goal of the Nevada Conservation Credit System?

    The goal of the Nevada Conservation Credit System (CCS) is to generate a net benefit of greater sage-grouse habitat from human activities. While the near term goal of the Nevada CCS is focused on greater sage-grouse habitat, it may be adapted to support the ongoing preservation, enhancement, and restoration of Nevada’s sagebrush ecosystem and other sagebrush obligate species in the future.