When it comes to fish habitat, offers they can refuse

From Estuary News:

Suisun Marsh
Suisun Marsh. Photo: Matthew Young

“The numbers are daunting: 8,000 acres to be restored to fish-friendly tidal habitat in order to comply with federal wildlife agencies’ Biological Opinions; another 65,000 if and when the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan is implemented; more still in mitigation for levee operations. Where will it all come from? Some parcels suitable for restoration are already publicly-owned, but not nearly enough: the rest will need to be purchased from its current owners or covered by easements. But legal constraints make buying land in the Delta harder than you might think. “We can’t negotiate a price with the landowner owing to state regulations,” says Dennis McEwan of the Department of Water Resources. Instead, state offers are more of the “take it or leave it” variety. Those offers must represent fair market value based on current use—as cropland, pasture, a duck-hunting club in Suisun Marsh—rather than restoration potential. “The appraisal industry hasn’t caught up with the restoration industry,” notes DWR’s Gail Newton. … ”

Continue reading this article at Estuary News here:  Offers they can refuse

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