Workshops

Workshops cover basic and advanced topics on banking, ILFs, conservation finance and more. They are part of the pre-conference activities. Some are offered at an additional fee and some may be included with your Conference Registration. (Federal Government Registration includes all workshops). Register early for big savings and to ensure your spot as some have limited capacity. For speaker bios, see the full AGENDA.

Monday, May 6, 2019

10 a.m.–5 p.m.   The "Art of the Deal" – A Workshop for Consultants, Lawyers and Investment Professionals

Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $155

FACILITATORS: Ben Guillon, CFA, CEO, Conservation Finance, Denver, Colorado and Sheela Stack, Shareholder, Riley Carlock & Applewhite, Denver, Colorado

This workshop is targeted primarily at consultants, lawyers and investment professionals who want to help their clients invest capital in conservation finance. While we will specifically focus on mitigation and conservation banking, we will also touch on other markets such as water quality and carbon. The workshop would also be of interest to landowners and investors new to the space and to seasoned mitigation bankers looking for new ideas.

Morning Session – The Due Diligence Process
The morning starts with an introduction to the origination and due diligence process, followed by three panels/presentations to discuss different types of risks, emergent trends and way to identify and mitigate those risks:

Regulatory Risk
 ◦ How to manage permitting risks
 ◦ How to manage the political risk generated by the Trump administration
Technical Risk
 ◦ Design – Feasibility and budget
 ◦ Water rights
Market Risk
 ◦ How to avoid the “build it and they will come” strategy

Lunch – learn from an experienced lawyer who will explain the key terms that should be included in operating agreements for mitigation banks. Several perspectives will be explored: the project developer, the landowner and in the investors.

Afternoon Session – Let’s talk about money. How to get it? How to make it?
The first half of the afternoon will be dedicated to a discussion centered on financing. We will discuss the different options that are available and how to get access to them.

The second half of the session will be dedicated to generating cash flow. We will quickly discuss the traditional cash flows generated by credit sales and then dig into additional cash flows, such as leases for hunting or sustainable burial, as well as emergent markets.

3–5 p.m.   Workshop for Public Landowners: Evaluating For-Profit Capital Funding For Public Land Restoration

Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $95

FACILITATOR: Gray Stevens, Managing Partner, Sandy Creek Partners, LLC, Naples, Florida

Specifically designed for federal, state, and local government landowners, this workshop will focus on trends and issues when considering pubic land restoration funded by for-profit capital seeking mitigation opportunities. As government budgets are increasingly constrained, public landowners may seek alternative, off-budget funding for needed land restoration. Private capital, on the other hand, is flush with investment dollars and increasingly focused on non-traditional investments, particularly those involving Public / Private Partnerships (“P3”). The workshop will seek to raise the awareness and understanding of the P3 mitigation alternative, including the risks and rewards for public landowners.

Designed to zero-in on the types of restoration projects most conducive to private capital mitigation investment, the session will provide practical steps for public landowners to consider when evaluating for-profit capital as a restoration funding source. The workshop will use actual case studies to highlight the pros and cons associated with accessing private capital via Public / Private Partnerships and provide a framework for evaluating these types of P3 opportunities. The session will be designed to be highly inter-active and emphasize audience participation. Significant time will be devoted to discussion and Q&A around the trade-offs involved when accessing for-profit investment capital for public restoration projects, as well as best practices and pitfalls to be avoided when working with private capital providers.

The workshop will be facilitated by Gray Stevens, Managing Partner of Sandy Creek Partner, an experienced developer of mitigation projects with direct experience in P3 mitigation investing. Prior to founding Sandy Creek, Gray spent fifteen years in the private investment capital industry, most recently as head of Merrill Lynch’s Midwest Private Equity Group where he developed a seasoned understanding of the for-profit capital markets.

5:15–6 p.m.   Legal Matters: Q&A Discussion on Legal Matters

Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $55

FACILITATORS: Veronica Rowen, Assistant Regional Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior, Sacramento, California and G. Braiden Chadwick, Partner, Mitchell Chadwick LLP, Roseville, California

Workshop and discussion style session to improve understanding of instruments and process of compensatory banking. After a day at of activities, come with your questions. For attorneys, Bank and ILF sponsors, consulants, regulators and impactors/users of mitigation.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

8–11 a.m.   Basics of In-Lieu Fee Mitigation for Species and Wetlands 101 Workshop

Includes access to online audio and materials. Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $100

FACILITATORS:  Rebecca Kihslinger, Science and Policy Analyst, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC; Jeanne Richardson, Mitigation Subject Matter Expert, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lynchburg, VA; Leslie Day, Mitigation Coordinator, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Saint Paul District, St. Paul, MN; Ruth Ladd, Mitigation Program Manager, New England District Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, Concord, MA; Todd Tugwell, Mitigation Project Manager, Wilmington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Wake Forest, NC; Krystel Bell, Mitigation Banking Specialist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento, CA; and Melissa Scianni, Biologist, EPA, Region 9, Los Angeles, CA

Facilitated by The Nature Conservancy and The Environmental Law Institute, the purpose of the workshop is to provide an overview of the basics of the in-lieu fee program approval process and expectations for program design and operation. Experienced in-lieu fee practitioners should attend the workshop titled “In-Lieu Fee Mitigation for Species and Wetlands — Advanced Topics” on Tuesday afternoon.

8 a.m. –12:30 p.m   Basics of Banking 101 Workshop

Includes access to online audio and materials. Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $145

FACILITATORS:  David Olson, Regulatory Program Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C.; Hall Holland, Assistant Regional Manager and John Wigginton, Southeast Regional Manager, Westervelt Ecological Services, Sacramento, Calif.; and Craig Denisoff, President, Craig Denisoff Consulting, Davis, Calif.

Ideal for those new to or exploring an interest in mitigation or conservation banking.

How-to’s of both Mitigation and Conservation Banking are presented in this half-day workshop. Starting with the history of banking, this workshop addresses site selection and technical aspects, monitoring and the business of banking (legal, financial, marketing) including walking participant through a banking agreement.

12–4:25 p.m. In-Lieu Fee Programs for Species & Wetlands – ADVANCED Topics

Includes access to online audio and materials.  Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $100

FACILITATORS: Jessica Wilkinson, Senior Policy Advisor, The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA and Rebecca Kihslinger, Science and Policy Analyst, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC

Facilitated by The Nature Conservancy and The Environmental Law Institute, the purpose of the workshop is to provide a forum for current in-lieu fee practitioners to share expertise and best practices, thereby supporting the delivery of in-lieu fee programs that support high and consistent standards for compensatory mitigation. The workshop will cover a range of issues including, for example, the project approval process, long-term management, and fee schedules. It is designed for an audience knowledgeable about in-lieu fee program operation. Those interested in learning the basics of ILF program design and operation should attend the workshop titled “In-Lieu Fee Mitigation for Species and Wetlands – 101” on Tuesday morning.

12:50–2:20 p.m. Regulatory In-Lieu Fee & Bank Information Tracking System Workshop

Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $50

FACILITATORS: Beattie Starr Williams, Director, Computer Sciences & Consulting Services, Applied Research Associates, Vicksburg, Miss.; Shannon Langford, Senior Software Engineer, Applied Research Associates, Inc., Huntsville, Ala.; and Steve Martin, Environmental Scientist, Institute for Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alexandria, Va.

A web-based application developed by the Corps with support from EPA and US FWS, Regulatory In-Lieu Fee & Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) is being utilized by the Corps and FWS to provide information on mitigation and conservation banking activities. RIBITS provides a range of information on mitigation and conservation banking including bank locations, service areas, credit type and availability, ledgers, and supporting documentation.

The first part of the workshop includes navigation in RIBITS including entering and editing data in RIBITS, entering credit transactions in bank ledgers, loading documents and images, creation of bank limits and service areas, and editing bank data.

The second part focuses on data mining — user-generated queries data, export of data, and geographic searches. It focuses on entering and editing data in RIBITS, including entering credit transactions in bank ledgers, loading documents and images, creation of bank limits and service areas, and editing bank data.

12:50–2:50 p.m. Marketing Hot Topic Roundtables

Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $75

FACILITATORS: Sheri F. Lewin, President and Kae Hovater, Director of Research and Analysis, Environmental Resource Marketing, Clermont, Fla.; Troy Madrigal, Vice President and Chelsea Nikmard, Mitigation Sales Manager, MSUSA, Houston, Tex.; Travis Hemmen, Vice President, Westervelt Ecological Services, Sacramento, Calif.; Kae Hovater, Director of Operations and Research, Environmental Resource Marketing, Clermont, Fla.; and Desmond Duke, President, EcoResolve, Boca Raton, Fla.

The roundtable workshop offers six different topics related to sales and marketing of wetland or species conservation credits. Each co-presenter will provide a short presentation on the topic followed by open discussion and Q&A to groups of 12-15 around the room. Session Participants will rotate to each of the topics during the workshop, spending approximately 20 minutes on each topic.

Roundtable Topics offered include:
1. Client Relations and Education-Teaching tools and a discussion on the importance of educating clients through the complex process of mitigation banking

2. The Power of Networking: Strategy, Execution and Technique and the importance of positive business relationships

3. Price Quotes: As an industry we are challenged by the perception of prices. We will discuss the challenges and best practices of quoting prices

4. Permitting Support: When and How to Help Potential Clients-Sales are made when permits are issued. We can assist the permit process without jeopardizing our role as a mitigation provider. The discussion will focus on how to manage this process.

5. Evaluating Key Demand Drivers: Successful Sales efforts begin in the Due Diligence Phase. Learn about finding and evaluating future trends and opportunities.

6. The Art of Solution-Selling: Discussion will focus on tips to effectively sell the true value of environmental credits, suggestions on the drafting of contracts and offer a few guiding points to help succeed at providing a knowledge-led approach to environmental credit sales.

2:20–4:20 p.m. ADVANCED Conservation Banking Workshop

Includes online access to audio and materials. Advanced Fee (by 1/23/19): $75

FACILITATORS:   Charlotte Kucera, Texas Transportation Liaison, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Austin, Tex. and Shauna Ginger, Ecosystem Services Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Ore.

An advanced course on conservation banking. (more details coming in January).

2:20–4:20 p.m. ADVANCED Stream Banking Workshop

Includes online access to audio and materials. Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $75

FACILITATORS:   Steve Jones, President, Meanders River Restoration, Ellijay, Ga.

An advanced course on stream banking and restoration practices. More details coming.

4:30–5:45 p.m.  Business of Banking for the Regulator

Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $50

MODERATOR: Gray Stevens, Managing Partner, Sandy Creek Partners, LLC, Naples, Fla.

Utilizing hypothetical case studies, the workshop is highly interactive and emphasizes audience participation. Includes concepts such as cost of capital, supply / demand based pricing, risk adjusted rates of return, risk / reward profiles for specific banking projects and the role of equivalency. Also identifies key risk factors in the permitting process and their potential impact on bank returns while exploring ways public and private sectors can partner to attract more private capital to needed wetland and conservation restoration projects.

4:30–5:45 p.m. How-to Guide for Building Biodiversity and Habitat Quantification Tools

Early Bird Fee (by 1/23/19): $50

FACILITATORS: Scott Chiavacci, Ecologist and Emily Pindilli, Economist, U.S. Geological Service, Reston, Va.

Workshop focused on strategies for building more standardized quantification tools used for assessing habitat quality or functionality in biodiversity and habitat markets. Discussions will be centered on information contained in our How-to Guide for Developing Quantification Tools that was created to offer guidance to persons undertaking tool development for use in biodiversity and habitat markets such as conservation banking, habitat exchanges, payments for ecosystem services, and eco-label programs. The Guide draws heavily on the experiences of market participants representing federal and state government agencies, academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and consulting companies. Covered topics will include, for example, how to efficiently and collaboratively build tools by identifying the appropriate stakeholders to involve and engaging them at the right time in the process, avoiding/minimizing roadblocks and confronting adversity (e.g., differing opinions on what attributes a tool should incorporate, stark differences in stakeholder needs), field testing tools, designing tools that can be easily updated through time, constructing scientifically sound tools that are not overly expensive or burdensome to use, working with data and resource limitations, record keeping during the process of tool development, and designing easy-to-read user guides and manuals. This workshop will benefit anyone involved with building, using, or evaluating quantification tools used in biodiversity and habitat markets.