A Time For Change
To address this situation, a cooperative process-improvement initiative in North Carolina involving more than 10 state and federal natural-systems agencies convened in 2001. Obstacles identified in the initiative included inadequate communication, undefined roles and responsibilities, poor synchronization in executing existing mitigation and permitting processes, and a lack of clearly understood mitigation-success objectives.
This panel's conclusions led to recommendations that mitigation for NCDOT should be provided years in advance of project impact, and be designed to replace unavoidable functional losses to wetlands and riparian buffers. The panel also conceived and set into motion events leading to the creation of the Ecosystem Enhancement Program.