Developers will now need to buy credits within the watershed they impact

Horicon Marsh is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. Courtesy: WI DNR
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bill that requires developers to purchase wetland mitigation credits within the watershed they're impacting.

The Department of Natural Resources requires creation or preservation of other wetlands as a condition of an individual permit allowing dredging or filling wetlands. Builders can satisfy those conditions by purchasing credits from a mitigation bank located anywhere in Wisconsin. Banks are a stash of credits generated by other developers who created or preserved wetlands.

The Republican-authored bill requires builders buy credits from banks in impacted watersheds. The DNR could allow purchases from other watersheds to better serve conservation goals, however.

Evers signed the bill privately Monday.