Warm Springs Wetlands LLC
A wetland mitigation bank located in Fairplay, Colorado
About Mitigation Banks:
A wetland mitigation bank is a large site where the bank sponsor restores, creates, enhances, or preserves wetlands for the express purpose of providing compensatory mitigation in advance of avoidable damage to wetlands or other aquatic resources elsewhere.
What is wetlands mitigation?
Mitigation refers to restoration, creation or enhancement of wetlands to compensate for permitted wetlands losses elsewhere.
For context see Restorations of Aquatic Ecosystems (1992). The National Research Council defined restoration as the "return of an ecosystem to a close approximation of its condition prior to disturbance."
When is mitigation required?
Under the Clean Water Act, wetland disturbance is generally prohibited in federally designated wetlands unless a permit is issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, allowing mitigation. Typically, in order to receive a permit, any adverse impacts to a wetland must be avoided and minimized. When a significant impact to a wetland is unavoidable, compensatory mitigation is required.
Warm Springs Wetlands is located about 2-3 miles west of US Highway 285. To reach the northern end of the wetland, starting at the junction of State Highway 9 and US Highway 285 in Fairplay, drive south on US Highway 285 for 4 miles then turn right (west) on County Road 20 and drive west for 3 mils to a locked gate. Travel beyond this point is restricted to local landowners. The northern end of the wetland starts about 1/4 mile west of the locked gate. To reach the southern end of the wetland, drive south on US Highway 285 for 5 miles, starting at the junction of State Highway 9 and US Highway 285 in Fairplay. Turn right (west) on county Road 5 (Weston Pass Road) and drive west for 1 mile to a two-track vehicle path that leads northwest from the county road.