In 2015, we began conducting surveys to identify the potential existence of and habitat locations for the American Burying Beetle, prior to initiating surface disturbance activities. More than 12,000 acres were surveyed with only 4,116 acres identified as occupied habitat. As a result, two development project plans were adjusted to avoid the beetles’ habitat. For areas where the occupied habitat could not be avoided, we purchased conservation credits* to offset impacts. This year we purchased 12.6 credits to mitigate over six acres of beetle habitat.
We also conduct monitoring, based on state and federal requirements, to ensure that project designs are successful and ongoing operations continue to protect surrounding habitats. We follow these same guidelines throughout all our operating areas.
*Conservation credits are designed to compensate for biodiversity impacts associated with development and result in an overall biodiversity gain in an alternative location.