Mitigation for Reservoir Projects Part I: Wildlife Mitigation Past and Present
Burns, Carol J.
Conger, Allen W.
Whiteside, Richard W.
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The environmental impacts of water development projects have recently become the source of considerable concern by various groups. A dichotomy has evolved in which there exists a continuing need to satisfy population water demands and a recognition that projects to accomplish these ends may cause irreversible adverse impacts (Hagan and Roberts 1973). Mitigation for the loss of wetland habitat has been a major issue to resource managers and developers for only the past 15 years. In the interim, substantial progress has occurred in the evolution and acceptance of the concept; we are now at a time when we have enough knowledge and experience to review how effectively the concept has been implemented (LaRoe 1986). For the portion of Georgia north of the Fall Line, a network of public fishing and water supply reservoirs was proposed to ensure future water supplies. A need for 31 reservoirs was identified (Cowie and Cooley 1988). What avoidance, restoration/ creation criteria and techniques should those proposing to impact wetland tracts apply for reservoir mitigation in each instance? The scope of this paper is to present the evolution of the wetland mitigation concept with respect to reservoir development. A review of case histories and evaluation of our progress is presented with a specific emphasis on mitigation for wildlife.