Mitigation and Mitigation Funds with the
El Dorado Community Foundation

Mitigation is related to development. When a developer or builder (project proponent) applies for permits for a project, they must submit ample information in the form of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) regarding the impacts of their project on the land and surrounding areas. If local, state, or federal permitting agencies (like U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, and/or County and City governments) find that there is an unavoidable substantive impact to land, habitat, or species; they require the project proponent fund conservation, typically in perpetuity, to offset their impact.

This requirement can be fulfilled by establishing a Mitigation Fund at the El Dorado Community Foundation where the money is invested wisely under their 501( c)(3) nonprofit status and dividends are used to support a specific nonprofit organization to manage open space.

You’ve started your entitlement process and it has been found that land and/or habitat mitigation is necessary. What now?

The permitting agencies will help determine what sort of mitigation is needed and possibly provide ideas for how the mitigation obligation might be satisfied. Typically, there are several options.

  • Mitigation Banking: purchasing credits to fund an already existing area of mitigation land
  • On-site or Off-site Mitigation: setting aside or purchasing mitigation property and establishing endowment and/or non-endowment funds that will help a habitat manager care for the property in perpetuity
  • In-Lieu Free Programs: paying fees to third party to replace destroyed habitat now or in the near future

What is The El Dorado Community Foundation’s role in the mitigation process?
The El Dorado Community Foundation (The Foundation) is able to act as a third-party manager of endowment and non-endowment funds for mitigation purposes like specific property mitigation, mitigation banks, or in-lieu fee programs. Our long history of strong investment performance and our relationships within the environmental nonprofit community make us an ideal partner for managing mitigation funds.

Why choose a third-party fund manager?
In order to reduce financial risk, many habitat managers prefer to have funds managed by outside specialists rather than having to manage the investment themselves. In addition, government and joint powers agencies have restrictions on investment options that make it difficult to maximize diversification and returns. The Foundation meets or exceeds legal standards and best practices in our field while still working to achieve returns that cover both the annual management distribution and inflation.

When in the process should we contact The El Dorado Community Foundation?
The El Dorado Community Foundation Executive Director is happy to answer questions, troubleshoot, or provide financial forecasts to help you navigate your process at any point.

Who should contact The El Dorado Community Foundation?
Any and all interested parties may contact The Foundation for information or to discuss a project. Typically the final fund agreement is written between The El Dorado Community Foundation and whichever entity will deposit the funds, but all interested parties typically review and provide input on the fund agreement prior to signature.

Does The El Dorado Community Foundation prepare Property Analysis Records (PARs)?
No, The El Dorado Community Foundation is only a financial management resource and is not qualified to offer opinions on land or species management.

Does The El Dorado Community Foundation have specific habitat managers, legal consultants, or environmental consultants they work with?
The El Dorado Community Foundation will work with any habitat manager or consultant in the state of California.

How does The El Dorado Community Foundation’s process work?
The permitting agencies will help determine what sort of mitigation is needed and possibly provide ideas for how the mitigation obligation might be satisfied. Typically, there are several options.

  1. Provide required details (below) to The Foundation for preparation of a draft Fund Agreement
  2. Review the draft Fund Agreement and provide revisions
  3. Once approved externally, Fund Agreement will go through an internal approval process at The Foundation (1-2 business days)
  4. Final agreement is made available for founder’s signature
  5. Contributions to the fund can then be arranged and The Foundation will countersign the agreement
  6. The Foundation will email and mail copies of the countersigned agreement to founder

 

The Foundation is available for consultation and questions. Call us at 530-622-5621 and make an appointment so, together, we can explore ways we might partner with you through a Mitigation Fund.