RR: The Early Years
In 1979 Riley Swift and a business partner founded Sierra View Landscape, Inc. (SVL) a commercial and residential landscaping design/build firm. Riley grew Sierra View into a successful contracting firm with a niche – large commercial and custom home landscaping.
Fertilized by Riley’s education and personal passion for wildlife biology and his past experience with state and federal regulatory agencies, the idea for a new kind of landscape contracting company took shape.
For years Riley had been witnessing vernal pool land around his Lincoln, CA home being filled for housing and commercial development. He got the idea of relocating vernal pools for the replacement of vernal pools lost to development. He mentioned his idea to an environmental consultant colleague who said, “Oh, you mean mitigation banking.”
This was in 1989, and Riley’s “mitigation banking” concept
was already being tossed around within the regulatory agencies.
Validation of his idea lit a fire within him, spurring him
to find a new partner and develop the mitigation bank concept
into a new business venture.
Sierra View thus shifted its focus from traditional custom
landscape installation to native habitat design and construction.
In 1991 Riley formed Wildlands Inc. and spent the next five
years searching for land, writing plans and designing the first
wetland mitigation bank west of the Mississippi.
In 1993 SVL began construction on the Sheridan Mitigation
Bank in Sheridan, CA – a property still owned by the
Swift family and now called Silvergate.