Lake Superior Mitigation Bank

Location

St. Louis County, MN

Resource

Wetland

Solution

Mitigation Bank

Status

Approved

Steve Gilbertson

Credit Sales Representative

LAKE SUPERIOR MITIGATION BANK, located in St. Louis County, Minnesota, is one of the largest restoration-based mitigation banks in the country. Before efforts to convert the property to farmland in the early 1900s, the site was one of Minnesota’s many biodiversity-rich bogs and the southernmost wintering home for many boreal species rarely seen in the lower 48 states. When EIP acquired the property, the ditches dug by farming attempts had caused long-term damage to the bog’s hydrology and deeply altered the vegetative communities endemic to these unique habitats. Since 2013, EIP has successfully restored and permanently protected over 24,000 acres, including significant portions of the internationally recognized Sax-Zim Bog Important Bird Area (IBA).

Credits from the Lake Superior Mitigation Bank are approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fulfill mitigation requirements of Section 404 Clean Water Act permits and Minnesota’s Wetland Conservation Act wetland replacement requirements.

CREDITS AVAILABLE
Compensatory wetland mitigation USFWS Circular 39 and Cowardin types
– (Type 8) Open Bog or Coniferous Bog

SERVICE AREA
Bank Service Area (BSA) 1, including major Minnesota watersheds
– Lake Superior (North) (1)
– Lake Superior (South) (2)
– St. Louis River (3)
– Cloquet River (4)
– Nemadji River (5)

Lake Superior Mitigation Bank

EIP introduced these new amphibious excavators from coastal Louisiana to northern Minnesota for bog restoration.

Lake Superior Mitigation Bank

Bog restoration requires special equipment in order to safely visit the restored habitat.

Lake Superior Mitigation Bank

Even with massive machines, the process of restoring bog hydrology by filling 70 miles of ditches took two years.

Setting the Standard for Bog Restoration in the U.S.

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SEH

Our Partners

Short Elliott Hendrickson is a nimble local consultant with deep expertise in northern Minnesota’s ecology, hydrology, and regulatory landscape. The SEH team came equipped with a variety of talents to help EIP model, plan, and execute a 24,000-acre bog restoration. In particular, their hydrologic modeling capabilities helped us pioneer a new restoration approach, and enabled us to demonstrate that plugging tens of miles of drainage ditches would restore native peat bog hydrology.

Midwest Amphibious Equipment partner logo

Midwest Amphibious Equipment has been an integral EIP partner from the beginning of our Minnesota work. MAE’s visionary founder Steve Gilbertson recognized the opportunity to perform large-scale wetland restoration to service Minnesota’s Iron Range region, and innovated amphibious equipment tools and techniques specific to Minnesota’s wetland environments. MAE has managed the construction of EIP’s three Minnesota mitigation banks, and also handles the sales of these mitigation credits.

TCF-the-conservation-fund-logo-square

The Conservation Fund is a national nonprofit organization that works with public, private, and other nonprofit partners to protect America’s legacy of land and water resources through land acquisition, sustainable community and economic development, and leadership training. The Fund’s deep experience in land transactions helped EIP accomplish an historic multi-party land exchange to assemble the 24,000 acres that constitute the Lake Superior Mitigation Bank.

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