Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mitigation Banking Has Been on the Rise in the Antelope Valley Just as California Department of Fish and Game Temporarily Halts Mitigation Program

As of March 14, 2012, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced that budget cuts have temporarily stopped the agency’s ability to review and approve new mitigation banking proposals statewide. The State budget cuts have created a backlog and the Department has slowed the process. DFG did acknowledge in their press release and website that mitigation banking is an important environmental tool and hopes the pause in mitigation land banking activities is short-lived. They will sign and complete bank agreements that are close to being completed, yet they didn’t indicate what it considers “close.” DFG will not, however, be approving new banking programs and stated it may not have the capacity to process major amendments to existing agreements.

This creates a great problem for smaller and new mitigation banking firms, which lack the capital to process and buy longer term. Some of the smaller mitigation bankers may have spent larger sums of capital on areas where the environmental benefits are not in delicate ecosystems for endangered plants and animals. These land bankers were buying larger parcels of land in the hopes that developers will buy the land to fulfill the environmentalist concerns. These smaller bankers will have to sell some of their land now to more deep pocket competitors or investors to stay afloat.

The mitigation business is similar to land banking business, where you buy vacant land and hold the land for buyers who need the land for later development. In mitigation banking the future buyers are developers who develop near cities growing areas and must buy “credits” to satisfy environmentalist and the state in order to develop their land today. An example would be a Mall developer, a solar or wind farm will have to buy large swaths of land and donate it to the state to preserve the land forever. Most of these parcels are in endangered animal and plant habitats like that of the desert tortoise, ground squirrel, and Joshua tree woodlands in Southern California.

We at have been working with several mitigation bankers who are buying land for current developers, or buying land now to mitigate bank it for future developer plans. We have hundreds of land owners on our list of potential sellers who can benefit from this mitigation wave. Contact us and we can help introduce your land to the larger mitigation bankers. Lancaster and Palmdale areas of Antelope Valley, and San Bernardino County are large target areas for land banking and mitigation banking needs. Some of the larger mitigation bankers can wait until the DFG completes its backlog or hires more employees to handle the traffic.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Wind Energy Projects have been a Challenge for Developers in Antelope Valley, Ca.

Many Antelope Valley residents are not excited over green energy projects underway for both Wind and Solar Energy. Many residents indicate that Wind Turbines would ruin the area's ambiance and harm the environment and the landscape will be changed forever.

The Antelope Valley energy companies want abundant lower priced land and lots of sun and wind. The sun scorches this landscape for at least nine out of 12 months and the wind gusts are reliable and steady.

Two solar projects have already been approved for unincorporated Los Angeles County. Eight other renewable energy projects have been proposed. The Wind Energy players NextEra Energy Resources and Element Power US want to build utility-scale wind turbine facilities that would tower hundreds of feet high.

According to the Los Angeles Times in a recent article the project manager for Element Power's proposed Wildflower Green Energy Farm. "Between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. the winds reach their highest peak, and it falls in line when the electrical grid has highest demand."

Element wants to use 4,000 acres of private land next to the poppy reserve for some 50 wind turbines almost 500 feet high. Each turbine would produce enough electricity to power up to 2,000 homes.

NextEra is proposing 90 turbines on about 7,000 acres in the northwestern Antelope Valley. This area has been identified by the California Energy Commission as suitable for large-scale wind and solar power developments. This is over an above Alta Wind Energies mega project of up to 1000 turbines in Tehachapi, Ca.

Resident fears once one large turbine project is approved then many more will be proposed. Solar panels are four to six feet above ground while the turbines will be hundreds of feet high. Home owners in Antelope Acres and Kings Canyon area argue that erecting wind turbines near homes would spoil views. They are also noisy and can devalue home prices. There are issues with large blades sparking fires, killing of birds and damaging wildlife habitat.

Element power has indicated that they have done habitat studies and they feel wildlife will not be adversely affected. They will also dedicate 320 acres for permanent conservation. Next Era also feels the turbines will have a minimal effect on wildlife.

We have helped introduce a number of property owners to solar and wind developers and consultants. Contact if you have property that maybe of interest to alternative energy developers.