To Bank or Not to Bank: A Feasibility Analysis of Establishing Salmon Habitat Banking Programs in the Portland Metro Area
author: Gordon R. Feighner
advisor: Noel Netusil
ABSTRACT: Recent listings of several local salmonid subspecies under the Endangered Species Act have led to stricter regulations regarding property development along riparian corridors in the Portland metro area. From an economic standpoint, market-based programs should be the most effective approach for helping property owners comply with these regulations. This thesis examines the feasibility of establishing programs for conservation banking in the Portland area. A thorough examination of the underlying economic theory and a discussion of the legal issues involved are both presented before addressing the topic of conservation banking. An analysis of existing banking programs in other states leads to a case study of the Reed College canyon area. The general conclusion is made that, while conservation banks in the Portland metro area are economically feasible, the political and legal conditions that enable banking programs elsewhere are not currently present in Oregon, making for a slim probability that any banks will be established in the near future.