Getting Two for One: Opportunities and Challenges in Credit Stacking
The drive to maximize land management investments will push towards getting credit for all the attributes on a parcel of property. Understandably, landowners will argue that they deserve credit for every ecological benefit they commit to protecting, including the species habitat, sequestered carbon and downstream water quality improvements. On the flip side, if stacking is appropriately regulated, it may create demand for more specific credit types and result in more complete mitigation. With the logistics of markets for ecosystem services still being solidified, the debate about credit stacking is active. This chapter will discuss the opportunities that may exist, the challenges to realizing these opportunities and the potential impact on the environment. Let’s start with a hypothetical example.