WRA Inc.

San Rafael, CA, United States
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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

CIM and WRA successfully advise new investor in the mitigation banking space WRA, Inc. (WRA) and Conservation Investment Management, LLC (CIM) congratulate The Earth Partners LP (TEP) on their acquisition of a portfolio of stream and wetland mitigation banks from Ecosystem Renewal. The bank properties represent an opportunity to protect over 3,300 acres of freshwater and tidal wetlands that provide critical habitat to waterfowl and other aquatic species. The mitigation credits generated by these banks will be sold to developers to mitigate the environmental impacts of residential and infrastructure development in the greater Houston area. CIM helped TEP identify a target that would fit their sustainable land management strategy and advised them during the transaction. WRA worked closely with TEP to conduct the technical and market due diligence of the acquisition. “Conservation finance, and in particular mitigation banking, is a quickly expanding field that offers opportunities for investors to generate great risk-adjusted returns that are mainly uncorrelated from other asset classes while also having a positive environmental impact,” said Ben Guillon, Chief Executive Officer of CIM and Chief Investment Officer at WRA. “CIM and WRA are proud to offer investors and landowners a turn-key solution that allows them to unlock these new markets.” In the coming year, TEP is looking to further expand its portfolio of banks in opportunistic regions across the United States, eager to identify new development and acquire existing portfolios with strategic partners. WRA, Inc. (WRA) offers professional consulting services in plant, wildlife, and wetland ecology, regulatory compliance, mitigation banking, environmental planning, GIS, and landscape architecture. WRA is a leader in wetland mitigation and species conservation banking in the western United State. The company offers a unique blend of multidisciplinary professionals supports clients with the right expertise to fully capture land’s ecosystem services value. www.wra-ca.com Conservation Investment Management, LLC (CIM) is an investment advisory company focused on conservation finance based in Denver, Colorado. CIM works with landowners, foundations, family offices, and endowments to craft and implement innovative real asset investment strategies that result in both profits and positive environmental impacts. CIM’s team is composed of financial analysts and of technical specialists that have extensive knowledge of these new markets such as mitigation and conservation banking, water or carbon. www.conservationinvestment.com The Earth Partners LP (TEP) is a land restoration company developing market-driven solutions to rebuild soils, water resources, habitat, carbon, and other critical ecosystem functions. TEP has been active in Texas since 2010 to restore working rangeland and native grasslands, enrolling hundreds of thousands of acres in invasive brush management programs to supply bioenergy markets. In 2016, TEP launched a mitigation banking division, expanding its Texas-based land restoration practices to wetlands and streams. The first bank portfolio acquisition, in partnership with Ecosystem Renewal, includes Gulf Coastal Plains Mitigation Bank, soon to be one of the top 10 largest wetland mitigation banks in Texas. TEP’s mitigation banking division continues to quickly expand, acquiring distressed and opportunistic mitigation banks in Texas and throughout United States. www.theearthpartners.com

Chase D.A.,San Francisco State University | Chase D.A.,WRA Inc. | Todgham A.E.,University of California at Davis
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society | Year: 2016

We investigated the physiological response of the endangered Tidewater Goby Eucyclogobius newberryi to the presence of Threespine Sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus (native to California) and Rainwater Killifish Lucania parva (nonnative). A fully factorial experimental design was used to examine species assemblage effects on juvenile fish over a 28-d period. Growth characteristics (weight, SL, and relative condition factor [Kn]) and stress hormone levels (cortisol) were assessed under ample food conditions and at a salinity of 15‰. Weight and SL of Tidewater Goby increased throughout the experiment; growth did not differ in relation to fish assemblage treatment, but significant differences in growth were observed between sampling dates within the experiment. Rainwater Killifish exhibited marginal increases in weight, SL, and Kn, but these increases were not different among assemblage treatments or over time. For Threespine Sticklebacks, weight and SL increased during the final 2 weeks of the experiment, resulting in significant differences over the entire experimental period; however, growth characteristics of this species did not differ among assemblage treatments. Cortisol levels in all three species were not significantly affected by assemblage treatment. The present results indicate that juvenile Tidewater Goby are not adversely affected by native Threespine Sticklebacks or nonnative Rainwater Killifish under stable abiotic conditions in the absence of food limitation. Received March 6, 2015; accepted September 24, 2015 © 2016, American Fisheries Society 2016.

Breen A.N.,University of California at Davis | Breen A.N.,WRA Inc. | Richards J.H.,University of California at Davis
Western North American Naturalist | Year: 2010

Natural establishment of seedlings in desert playas with temporally variable precipitation hinges on many factors, including seed production, seed dispersal, seed entrapment, seed germination, and seedling survival. We investigated natural seed dispersal patterns and the effects of surface texture, wind barriers, resource availability (water and nutrients), and protection from herbivory on seedling establishment in a desert playa. We hypothesized that the seed rain would be consistent throughout the year and that seedling establishment would improve in resource-amended plots with barriers to wind dispersal. Contrary to our hypotheses, seed flux peaked seasonally during the winter, and fertilization had no consistent effect on seedling establishment. Seed availability for dispersal correlated with precipitation in the previous water year, whereas seedling recruitment was greatest when current-year precipitation during the spring germination and summer seedling growth periods was high. Gravel and barrier surface treatments contained more surviving seedlings than other surface treatments. Comparison with plots located outside of herbivore exclosures, however, showed that greater seedling presence in gravel plots may be due somewhat to protection from herbivory provided by the gravel, rather than simply to the greater seed-trapping quality of the gravel. With abundant seed availability, application of surface treatments, like coarse gravel, combined with increased seasonal water availability could lead to improved shrub establishment from seed in desert playas. © 2010.

Harris T.B.,WRA Inc. | Rajakaruna N.,College of the Atlantic | Nelson S.J.,University of Maine, United States | Vaux P.D.,University of Maine, United States
Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society | Year: 2012

Acadia National Park is a center of plant diversity in northeastern North America. The Park's varied habitats and flora are sensitive to a number of natural and anthropogenic perturbations. Stressors such as invasive plants, pest and pathogens, ozone, acidic fog and sulfur deposition, nitrogen deposition, heavy metals, fire and fire suppression, over-browsing, visitor use, hurricanes, and climate change have all had effects on the Park's habitats and plant species at some point and it is unclear how many of these stressors are currently affecting the flora of Acadia National Park. We discuss the botanical diversity of Acadia, assess the natural and anthropogenic stressors and threats affecting the Park's flora, and summarize critical information gaps to better assess the known stressors and threats to the flora. Understanding these stressors and threats is critical to making informed management decisions to preserve the botanical diversity of Acadia and other regional parks. © 2012 Torrey Botanical Club.

Ciccotelli B.,College of the Atlantic | Harris T.B.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Harris T.B.,WRA Inc. | Connery B.,Acadia National Park | And 2 more authors.
Rhodora | Year: 2011

We conducted a preliminary floristic study of six vernal pools in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine. Plant species were recorded on three sampling dates from April to October, 2008. Sixty-five vascular plant species from 26 families were recorded. Of these, 27 are considered occasional or uncommon in Acadia National Park. Thirteen species are new reports for vernal pools in the northeastern United States. This represents the first published study of the vernal pool flora of Acadia National Park. © 2011 New England Botanical Club.

Gurney C.M.,University of California at Berkeley | Gurney C.M.,WRA Inc. | Prugh L.R.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Brashares J.S.,University of California at Berkeley
Rangeland Ecology and Management | Year: 2015

Granivory and soil disturbance are two modes by which burrowing rodents may limit the success of native plant restoration in rangelands. This guild of animals has prolific effects on plant community composition and structure, yet surprisingly little research has quantified the impact of rodents on plant restoration efforts. In this study, we examined the effects of seed removal and soil disturbance by the giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens) on native plant restoration in a California rangeland. Using experimental exclosures and stratifying restoration plots on and off rodent-disturbed soil, we assessed the individual and combined effects of seed removal and soil disturbance on seedling establishment of four native plant species. Across all species, biotic soil disturbance by kangaroo rats reduced seedling establishment by 19.5% (range = 1-43%), whereas seed removal reduced seedling establishment by only 6.7% (range = 4-12%). Rates of seed removal across species weakly paralleled kangaroo rat dietary preferences. These results indicate the indirect effects of burrowing rodents such as kangaroo rats on native seedling establishment via changes in soil properties may rival or exceed the direct effects of seed removal. © 2015 Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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