The MBHCP utilizes a mitigation fee paid by applicants for grading or building permits to fund the purchase and maintenance of habitat land to compensate for the effects of urban development on endangered species habitat. The lands to be acquired for the program are generally located outside the Metropolitan Bakersfield area.
Kern County and the City of Bakersfield have entered into a legal agreement with the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that spells out obligations in conjunction with the MBHCP. The agreement allows the County and the City to receive habitat mitigation credit that can be applied against future habitat loss that accompanies urban development.