(03/06/20) BATON ROUGE, La. — During the past year, the LSU AgCenter has been working to develop a plan for placing 872 acres of property in St. Gabriel on the AgCenter Sugar Research Station into a mitigation bank.
“This initiative will create a conservation area that will be used as an outdoor classroom and laboratory for students and faculty as well as provide a unique training opportunities for the public and other entities engaged in mitigation to study and learn first-hand about the mitigation process,” said William B. Richardson, LSU Vice President for Agriculture.
Working through the LSU Office of Procurement, a solicitation for offers was released and approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors last year.
A selection team reviewed and scored the offers, ultimately selecting Spanish Lake Restoration LLC.
“In addition to providing a unique educational experience, the AgCenter's 872-acre mitigation bank will restore and preserve for perpetuity the greater Bayou Manchac forested ecosystem that provides essential flood storage and a diverse wildlife habitat,” said Scott Nesbit, chief technical officer for Spanish Lake Restoration.
The AgCenter has finalized the contract with Spanish Lake Restoration for the property lease and operation of the mitigation bank.
Spanish Lake Restoration. will be responsible for the enhancements to the property in preparation for selling available mitigation credits.
The AgCenter will receive funds annually through a lease of the property to Spanish Lake Restoration as well as a percentage of the revenues from each mitigation credit sold.
The project offers a unique opportunity for the AgCenter to invest funds from the sale of mitigation credits and use the interest for endowed chairs, scholarship opportunities for students, natural resource and conservation research, internship opportunities for students.
“It is our intent to preserve the corpus of the funds and only use the interest,” Richardson said.
The agreement for the lease and mitigation bank will terminate 30 years after the sale of the last available mitigation credit.
The AgCenter will receive an annual lease for the property.
In addition to the payment terms of the annual rent, a secondary payment of 30% of the gross sale price for each mitigation credit point sold will be due to the AgCenter.
Spanish Lake Restoration is responsible for the financing, design, construction, creation, enhancement, operation and maintenance of the mitigation bank on the property in accordance with applicable university and AgCenter design standards and approvals.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture