MCS brokers wetland, stream, and species credits.
MCS markets and brokers credits to compensate for project impacts to protected waters and species. We also broker land with mitigation and conservation potential.
We manage mitigation and conservation bank properties during operational phases to ensure compliance and financial sustainability.
Properties with protected plants, animals, wetlands, and/or streams are potential candidates for mitigation and conservation banks. Visit WRA, our sister company, for more information.
To inform the due diligence process and pricing strategy, it is crucial to have an accurate credit value estimate. MCS uses a combination of robust environmental data and market analyses to provide credit price opinions.
We have our fingers on the pulse of the market for mitigation credits. For bank owners and operators, we create marketing strategies that raise the visibility of your project resulting in quicker credit liquidation rates.
What is a Mitigation Credit?
“Environmental impacts often require mitigation, and credits are the easiest way to provide it.”
Land development projects often have unavoidable impacts to plants, animals, wetlands and streams protected by federal, state and local regulations. Impacts must be mitigated, which often requires compensation. Compensatory mitigation – an umbrella term that covers conservation and mitigation credits – protects habitat in perpetuity, and assures that ecosystems and biodiversity are preserved today and for generations to come.
The two types of credits represent different protections: conservation credits preserve land and the plants and animals that call it home; mitigation credits are for waters like wetlands and streams, and usually require environmental uplift. Uplift is essentially an upgrade to ecosystem services by restoring existing waters or establishing new ones, achieved through professional habitat design and construction.
Through a process of entitlements and regulatory agency coordination, a mitigation or conservation bank with a predetermined number of credits results, and it is protected forever through a conservation easement. A credit is a standard unit that represents a quantity of compensatory mitigation, and is either equal to 1 acre of land/habitat or a “functional equivalent” of 1 acre (taking into account quality along with quantity).
The availability of our mitigation properties and credits is regularly changing. Please take special note of the biological features and watershed of the particular property or credits you are viewing. Look at our most current listings here in the for sale section. Look at our most current listings here in the for sale section.
Understanding of the scientific soundness and regulatory requirements of compensatory mitigation ensures sound investments and predictable project development. We have successfully negotiated complex mitigation requirements with regulatory agencies, delivering results that satisfied all parties. At MCS, mitigation and conservation solutions are our focus and expertise.
Chief Executive Officer
Tim DeGraff is the Chief Executive Officer of WRA, Inc. and is experienced in designing, permitting, and managing wetland mitigation and wildlife conservation banks throughout the U.S. As a Certified Professional Wetland Scientist, he also leverages his expertise to the San Francisco State University through the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies. Most of Mr. DeGraff’s experience is in California but he also has experience in Colorado, Texas, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, and Indiana. Mr. DeGraff has worked on more than 100 mitigation projects starting from initial resource characterization through financial analysis and permit acquisition. He played a key role in the first conservation bank approved in California involving translocation of an amphibian species as well as establishing the first conservation bank for the Callippe silverspot butterfly.
Geoff Smick is President of WRA, Inc. As a principal, he focuses on federal, state, and local environmental regulatory compliance and permitting for a variety of clients at the private, commercial and public sector levels. His experience includes sensitive habitat and species inventorying and management, conservation banking, and development, restoration, and mitigation projects in a variety of California’s habitat types throughout the state. Whether the project is an open space preserve striving to balance public access with sensitive natural resources or a public works project trying to repair a utility line adjacent to the sensitive habitats of San Francisco Bay, Mr. Smick’s many years of experience combined with his critical thinking skills have helped his clients save valuable time and money while simultaneously satisfying regulatory agency staff requirements.
Dr. Ben Guillon oversees the financial and strategic aspects of rural land management and ecosystem conservation. In this position, Ben helps a wide range of clients develop innovative financing strategies to acquire, conserve, and manage large tracts of land in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, Ben leads the asset management group, which allows investors and landowners to unlock the value of their land assets through ecosystem markets, such as mitigation banks or carbon offset projects. Ben has 12 years of experience developing and managing projects for some of the most renowned green investors. In his former capacity as Manager of Acquisitions at New Forests, Inc., Ben led the origination, underwriting, acquisition and asset management for the Eco Product Fund, a $50 million private equity investment fund focused on mitigation banking and carbon offsets. Ben also previously worked at the World Bank and at the International Finance Corporation on projects aimed at creating economic incentives to improve biodiversity conservation in Africa and in Asia.
Matt Richmond received a B.S. in Biology from Humboldt State University where he focused on coastal ecology. Matt is the Conservation Strategies Department Head at WRA where he oversees the entitlement and management of mitigation and conservation banks as well as single user mitigation projects and in-lieu fee programs throughout California. Matt also manages a wide diversity of projects across California with an emphasis on coastal ecology and habitat restoration in the San Francisco Bay eco-region. In his role as Department Head, Matt works closely with WRA’s mitigation specialists, biologists, planners and landscape architects/engineers on habitat restoration design and mitigation projects. His role also includes overseeing and conducting biological assessments, special status species surveys, wetland delineations, performance monitoring, market supply and demand research, feasibility studies, regulatory permitting, habitat management planning, bank approval, agency coordination, conservation easements endowment calculations and agreements, service area determinations, and bank marketing and credit sales.
Nathan Bello is an experienced biologist with expertise in compensatory mitigation, natural resources planning, ecological restoration, wetland and endangered species science, and environmental regulations. He previously worked as a wildlife biologist for the United States Forest Service and as an NEPA/CEQA analyst for the County of Sacramento and currently focused on the planning, establishment, and management of large mitigation projects. His experience working in both the public and private sectors has provided him with an in-depth understanding of the complex organizational structures and processes surrounding federal, state, and local environmental regulations. Nathan has worked on several large mitigation/conservation projects in California, including the planning and assessment of numerous wetland mitigation banks, species conservation banks, single user mitigation projects, and open space planning projects.
Andrew Cawley earned a Master’s in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at University of California, Santa Barbara, where he focused on applied environmental economics and terrestrial conservation planning. His experience with conservation planning, regulatory research and coordination, and economic analysis across Oregon and California equip him with a diverse range of experience to draw upon in helping clients navigate the bank entitlement process. He currently focuses on financial analysis, credit sales, and client relations for Petersen Ranch and Soquel Canyon Mitigation Banks, as well as pursuing and entitling future Mitigation and Conservation Banks.
As the broker of record for MCS, Eric is responsible for reviewing all contracts, reports, and any other documents pertaining to MCS. A veteran of the industry since 1988, Eric is a licensed Real Estate Broker and brings experience is in residential, ranch, and income property sales as well as vacation rental management. He is a member of the North Bay Association of Realtors, Marin Association of Realtors, Berkeley-Oakland Association of Realtors and the San Francisco Association of Realtors.