Property owners and developers wishing to develop land that requires the clearing of forest are required to provide mitigation for the forest lost. The first priority for providing mitigation for forest clearing is onsite replanting, second, offsite replanting and lastly, pay a fee in lieu of replanting to the county.
Offsite mitigation banks offer the development community an alternative to paying the county a fee in lieu for forest clearing. Offsite Banks can be set up by private landowners to sell for profit, reforestation "credits" to landowners and developers who have reforestation or afforestation mitigation requirements as a result of development projects. The reforestation bank owner plants trees on his/her property, posts a security to ensure survival and places the planted area under a perpetual protective agreement such as a conservation easement. In some instances, the bank owner can agree to preserve existing forested areas that can satisfy the offsite planting requirements for developers.