Common Ground Capital (“CGC”) was formed in the spring of 2012 to deliver best in class landscape scale mitigation solutions for endangered, threatened or imperiled species. Eleven years later we have successfully achieved the majority of our objectives in the Southern Plains by partnering with our private land owner, equity investors and other best in class partners.
Our mission is simple:
Deliver best-in-class mitigation solutions that also provide strategic conservation value for the species in order to provide the upmost certainty to all relevant stakeholders.
We provide certainty to conservation sites for the targeted species and their landscapes by protecting them forever under the robust, rigorous and proven USFWS conservation banking model. Site selection is approached from the standpoint of which location provides the best conservation outcome for the species versus what can we do with a pre-determined set of funds that dictate which site we can afford.
We provide certainty to our industry partners by enabling the full transfer of liability away from their projects under the Endangered Species Act with the assurance that their investments are delivering actual, quantified conservation benefits to the species. Working with our conservation banks also gives CCAA, 4(d) rule and HCP permit administrators and their customers the highest degree of certainty that their programs are delivering effective mitigation. Often times purchasing conservation bank acres has the additional benefit of contributing to a programs’ conservation goals.
We provide certainty to our landowner partners under a free market mitigation business model that recognizes that they have a scarce and valuable resource on their property. Our compensation model allows landowners to receive a meaningful up-front market based payment that allows them to make independent financial decisions for their operations and their families versus a government type, least cost annual payment structure that may preclude them from receiving the full benefit of their stewardship for many years into the future.
Currently, our focus is on the Lesser Prairie Chicken and American Burying Beetle. We have and will continue to monitor other species market opportunities as warranted.
Specific accomplishments for the Lesser Prairie Chicken:
- Secured 75,000 acres of option agreements across three states/three service territories
- Obtained full USFWS approval of the only species programmatic conservation bank agreement (“PCBA”) in the country which covers the entire range of the Lesser Prairie Chicken (May 2014)
- Received full USFWS approval of two conservation banks in Kansas totaling 29,000 acres serving the mixed grass and short grass ecosystems (March 2015)
- Secured full USFWS approval of the Tomahawk Conservation Bank in West Texas developed by RiverBank Ecosystems of Austin, Texas under CGC/LPCC’s PCBA (October 2015)
- Secured full USFWS approval of the Lost Draw Conservation Bank in Eastern New Mexico developed by RiverBank Ecosystems of Austin, Texas under CGC/LPCC’s PCBA (September 2018)
- Secured an initial equity investment in the company with one of the largest mitigation companies in the country, Restoration Systems (September 2013) and formed a dedicated joint venture with a major equity investment firm in December 2014 (LPC Conservation, LLC)
- Successfully achieved approval of two, range-wide, habitat conservation plans (HCPs): One for the oil and gas industry (June 2022) and one for the renewables, transmission and communication towers industries (December 2021). Both HCPs are fully compliant with the USFWS Framework for the Review of Lesser Prairie-Chicken Voluntary Conservation Programs (July 2021)
Major Accomplishments for the American Burying Beetle:
- Secured 100% of the Keystone Gulf Coast Pipeline ABB Mitigation in record time under a joint venture with Wildwood Credits of Tyler Texas (December 2012)
- Achieved full conservation bank approval (February 2014) for property adjacent to the Keystone McAlister Conservation Area. The combined projects will permanently protect 1,600 acres of key habitat for the ABB.
- Executed on numerous ABB transactions (Wildwood is lead on Marketing) over the past eight years
- Sold out six phases of expansion totaling over 4,000 contiguous acres over the past six years which has allowed our partnership to establish a re-connected, holistically managed large landscape for the ABB in a priority conservation area
- ABB Conservation Banks were listed by USFWS as a key reason for the down listing to Threatened Status in 2020
- Completed multiple research projects on the project site