After several weeks of submitting "final" inspections & reports on the wetland impact mitigation area planting to the county, today they finally signed off on it! There had been some questions relating to a lack of proof that all the trees & shrubs had been planted (the reciepts don't cut it because, you know, maybe we just hid some of them behind the house or tossed them in the swamp or something) so we had to submit a map showing where each was planted, and Katrina (our extremely patient wetland specialist) had to sign an affidavit that all the plants were really and truly in the ground.
I'm not totally sure why this was necessary, since they're still going to monitor us for the next 5 years to make sure everything survives and meets all the performance standards anyway. Even if we had tried to cut some corners by not planting some things this fall, we'd just have to replace them next year. I know enough about dealing with bureaucrats though not to question why they need such-and-such documentation... you just have to give it to them. Cheerfully. And then you wait...
In any case, it's all done now, and the paperwork is in the mail that I can take to the bank to get most of our guarantee money released. We can't have it all back, because part of it is ear-marked to pay for the next 5 years worth of monitoring, one year at a time. (You didn't think they'd just monitor us for free, did you?)