|The Shrimp are Getting Ready to Hatch! |
Fairy shrimp and tadpole shrimp occur within ephemeral wetlands. Many of the shrimp found in California are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Shrimp eggs/cysts lay dormant in seasonal pools during the dry months and hatch once the wetlands become ponded from winter rains.
Surveys must be approved by USFWS and conducted by a qualified/permitted biologist. ECORP biologists have extensive experience working with these organisms and are considered by USFWS to be species experts. ECORP can conduct presence/absence surveys to support federal Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultations or conduct assessment level surveys to document the presence of listed shrimp on potential mitigation properties. As winter rains are approaching, now is the time to schedule surveys for listed shrimp.
For more information, and to schedule your surveys, please call Todd Wood or Peter Balfour at (916) 782-9100.
|Watch Out for Wildlife - ECORP Conducts Wildlife Corridor and Crossing Studies
Awareness of wildlife movement corridors and crossings awareness has become a major focus of conservation efforts over the past 10 years. This awareness was recently highlighted during "Watch Out for Wildlife (WOW) Week" a result of a partnership between Caltrans and CDFW to help increase the public's awareness of the relationship between wildlife and transportation, and the effects that it can have on both animal populations and us as motorists.
WOW Week took place September 16 through 22 and reminded motorists to improve safety for travelers and wildlife by staying alert while driving and looking for animals crossing roads. WOW Week also highlighted some examples of what Caltrans is doing to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and maintain wildlife movement corridors and crossings.
Wildlife movement corridor evaluations and crossing analyses are often required in the environmental documentation for projects involving transportation or projects proposed on very large parcels of land. These types of projects can potentially contribute to habitat fragmentation by creating barriers to animal movements and increase the likelihood of accidents between drivers and wildlife. ECORP has extensive experience with designing and implementing these types of studies and analyses for our clients.
|Should You Be Thinking About California Tiger Salamander Surveys?
As the rainy season is approaching, now is your chance to plan for potential endangered species issues on your project. The California tiger salamander is found in grasslands and woodlands in portions of Central and coastal California. They breed in temporary pools and ponds during the rainy season and larvae develop within pools until their legs and lungs are developed. They then disperse upland where adults spend most of their lives, returning to water to breed during winter and spring. California tiger salamanders are protected under the federal and state Endangered Species Acts. As such, surveys must be approved by the regulatory agencies and conducted by a qualified and permitted biologist. A habitat assessment is often recommended to gain site-specific information prior to planning a survey. Then, depending on the outcome of the habitat assessment, agencies may require a protocol-level survey, especially for sites that have potential breeding habitats with ponds or pools. ECORP has a highly qualified staff of permitted biologists ready to undertake habitat assessments and surveys, if needed, on your project. In addition, our regulatory specialists and project managers have guided numerous project applicants through the ESA, CESA, and CEQA processes, resulting in many successful projects throughout California. As the rainy season is gearing up, now is the time to schedule your habitat assessment or start planning your survey!
To discuss your project in relation to potential California tiger salamander issues, call Eric Stitt or Peter Balfour at (916) 782-9100.
|Making History Come Alive|
ECORP's architectural historians focus primarily on evaluating the historical significance of buildings and structures. In addition to evaluating historic-period resources for the National Register of Historic Places and California Register of Historical Resources, ECORP has recently launched several exciting new projects outside the realm of a typical building evaluation.
We are currently developing content and themes, gathering and preparing images, and designing educational interpretive panels, which will be displayed along walking trails in Lincoln, California. These interpretive panels will provide educational information to the public regarding local historical figures and themes, such as J. Parker Whitney, the Placer Citrus Colony, local Native Americans, and the Twelve Bridges community.
|ECORP Puts Oak Trees to the Test|
Several cities and counties, including the County of Los Angeles, have oak tree ordinances (Section 22.562090 of the Los Angeles County Code) which prohibit cutting, destroying, removing, relocating, inflicting damage, or encroaching into the protected zone of any oak tree (genus Quercus) that is at least eight inches in diameter, or has a combined trunk diameter or two trunks of at least 12 inches at 54 inches above natural grade, without first obtaining a permit.
In addition to City and County Oak Tree Ordinances, the State Oak Woodlands Conservation Act (Assembly Bill 242 and Senate Bill 1334) requires a county to determine whether a project may result in a significant effect to oak woodlands, and if so, require oak woodlands mitigation alternatives to mitigate the significant effect of the conversion of oak woodlands. Under the State Oak Woodlands Conservation Act, an ordinance-protected oak tree must be at least five inches in diameter at breast height, and oak woodland is defined as an oak stand with a greater than 10 percent canopy cover, or one that may have historically supported greater than 10 percent canopy cover. Under the Act, there is no distinction between single versus multi-trunked trees.
ECORP's certified arborists can conduct oak tree surveys that measure and evaluate individual trees and oak woodlands. Each oak tree within the survey area is numbered and recorded in the field using an aerial map and a post-processing-capable global positioning system (GPS) unit with sub-meter accuracy (Trimble GeoXT). ECORP's certified arborists can analyze conditions concerning soil, water, diseases, pests and other factors that may impact the health of a tree. We then provide detailed descriptions of the situation, possible causes, and remedies.
|The Southern California Biological Resources Group is Growing!|
We are proud to announce that Michael Tuma has joined ECORP's Redlands Office as Senior Biological Program Manager.
Michael is a Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB) and a Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA) with more than 25 years of experience as a professional scientist, including 13 years as an environmental consultant in California. He specializes in ecology, evolution, wildlife biology, herpetology, and archaeology. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Southern California, where he is investigating aspects of the evolutionary ecology of the North American Gopherus tortoises, including the desert tortoise. He has performed numerous specialized studies for projects involving desert tortoise, including focused surveys, translocations, disease testing, genetic analyses, head-starting, and population modeling. His technical specialties also include general biological assessments, constraints analyses, habitat restoration, avian studies, floristic inventories, and vegetation/habitat assessments and mapping.
|ECORP Staff Participates in El Dorado County Farm Day|
Recently, more than 1,000 third grade students from throughout El Dorado County descended on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds for the 12th Annual Farm Day. Sponsored by El Dorado County Ag in the Classroom, it was an opportunity to help kids and families under stand the importance of agriculture in their daily lives. The event included plenty of hands-on experiences for the children to take part in.
This day-long field trip featured presentations and demonstrations by farmers, ranchers, foresters as well as ECORP's own Senior Water Resources Engineer, Michael Preszler, presenting "Sierra Water - It All Runs Downhill." His presentation included water cycle, water supply and uses, Sierra Nevada snowpack, groundwater pumping, watersheds, reservoirs, and how water goes from snowpack to their taps via different water delivery systems. The first and most important ingredient in a hamburger was also discussed............water!
ECORP Staff Participates in Heritage Park Community Service Day!
A group of ECORP staff members participated in Heritage Park Community Service Day! Heritage Park, created by volunteers in just four hours, was established to commemorate the City of Redlands 125th Anniversary (1888-2013). Prior to the Community Service Day, ECORP performed the project's biological and cultural resources studies and archaeological construction monitoring for the City of Redlands Quality of Life Department. The surveys and technical reports were prepared on an expedited schedule to meet planning deadlines.
Approximately 2,000 energetic, enthusiastic volunteers came out to the groundbreaking event, despite the climbing temperatures and hard, dirty work. ECORP staff members (Candy Coons, Wendy Blumel, Kristina Lindgren, Katherine Vienne, Freddie Olmos and his 7-year old daughter) took part in the activities. They were on the crew spreading mulch, and they even planted a few trees!
|NCCP Turns 10!|
The National Community Conservation Planning (NCCP) Act of 2003 is a voluntary program implemented by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), private landowners, environmental organizations, and other interested parties to maintain biological diversity by purchasing land for the purpose of providing regional or area-wide protection of plants, animals, and their habitats. The primary objective of the NCCP program is to conserve entire ecosystems while accommodating compatible and appropriate development and growth. This is the only state law in the nation that strives to protect ecosystems using a science-based, stakeholder-driven approach. There are currently nine regional NCCPs in place that permanently protect 2,000,000 acres of habitat in California, with many more in progress.
ECORP works on and within existing NCCP areas as well as on smaller-scale preserves to conserve habitat by providing services such as species inventories/surveys and construction monitoring for development projects. We have skilled technical staff including biological, cultural, and GIS personnel experienced in working with these plans, contributing to ongoing development and implementation via various specialized surveys and monitoring programs.
Holiday Office Closures
The Holiday Season is quickly approaching! All ECORP offices will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th. We will also be closed from Wednesday, December 25th through Wednesday, January 1st. Our offices will reopen on Thursday, January 2nd.