In 2005, at a very exciting - and understandably anxious - time in The Westervelt Company's history, we said goodbye to the manufacturing operation which had anchored our organization since its founding in 1884, and hello to the possibilities and opportunities which would help us achieve and model our inherent stewardship mission.

Our strategic reinvestment process pointed us to mitigation and conservatio n banking, and in the spring of 2006, Westervelt Ecological Services (WES) was formally launched. While we were confident and optimistic with our business analysis, at an organizational level we weren't familiar with the nuances of this emerging industry, and we quickly grew weary of explaining to our colleagues, friends and families that the banks we intended to build would not have ATM machines and safe deposit boxes.

Fortunately, it didn't take our WES team long to achieve success, and with each approved project our vocabularies improved, our conservation acres increased, our processes became more efficient, and, most importantly, our staff of professionals expanded and diversified to accomplish an exceptional degree of excellence in their industry. In 10 short years WES has grown from a concept to a cornerstone, an achievement of which The Westervelt Company could not be more proud, grateful, and optimistic.

We are excited about the future and would like to thank our agency partners, our extended partners, and our valued customers for helping us establish our identity within this conservation landscape.


Alicia Cramer
Bullock Bend Mitigation Bank - APPROVED!

Bullock Bend Mitigation Bank, a 119.65-acre site in Yolo County, California, has been approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to provide credits for impacts to salmon, steelhead, Swainson's hawk, other waters of the U.S., and riparian habitat.

Bound on three sides by the Sacramento River, restoration of the site focuses on re-establishing connectivity between the river and the historic floodplain. Portions of the existing agricultural field will be de-leveled to create a riparian habitat complex. Backwater channels will be excavated and the cut material will be balanced in undulating shapes across the terrace and upland areas. A breach in the farm berm will be located on the south side of the property, allowing river water to naturally flood the property, creating off-channel salmonid rearing habitat. Habitat types developed at the bank will include Restored Floodplain Riparian, Enhanced Riparian Floodplain Forest and Enhanced Shaded Riverine Aquatic habitat.

The property has been identified in the Sacramento River Conservation Area Forum Handbook (2003) as a key location within the planning conservation area appropriate for restoration projects. The floodplain restoration and breaching of a farm berm on the property will support and further the objectives of the Recovery Plan for Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, and Central Valley steelhead. In addition, these restoration efforts support the Priority 1 Recovery Action 1.9 (Central Valley) in the Plan because the project is incorporated into the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan through the Mid & Upper Sacramento River Regional Flood Management Plan.

WES has partnered with Ducks Unlimited to hold the conservation easement, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the endowment. The property will be protected in perpetuity and managed by WES.

To learn more about the Bank and available credits contact Travis Hemmen at (916) 646-3644 or themmen
Locust Fork Mitigation Bank Celebration

Thank you to all those who attended the celebratory lunch and open house June 8, commemorating the 10th anniversary of WES and the opening of the Locust Fork Mitigation Bank in Blount County, Alabama. We'd like to extend special thanks to The Freshwater Land Trust for being in attendance and for their critical support as holder of the conservation easement.  In our first 10 years, WES has restored or enhanced approximately 15,000 acres of habitat and 5 miles of stream which are now protected and managed in perpetuity. Without our partners, such as The Freshwater Land Trust, this work would not be possible.

The Locust Fork Mitigation Bank was approved in October, 2015, as a stream and wetland bank in Blount County, Alabama. The bank is situated along the Locust Fork River, where cattle have historically had acce ss to the river and destroyed native vegetation and tree cover as a result of grazing .   Bank erosion and water quality were an issue along this section of the river. 

This event offered an opportunity to walk the streams with WES 's project manager John McGuire and stream designer Grant Ginn with Wolf Creek Engineering to see and hear firsthand about the stream restoration underway. In addition, Robby Bowen of Aquatic Restoration was on-site to answer questions about the construction. Natural channel design and revegetation along Locust Fork and five unnamed tributaries will generate mitigation not previously available in this watershed. Natural channel design restores the pattern, profile, and dimension of streams reconnecting high flow events to the floodplain, thus improving instream and riparian habitat. Native and introduced bed material and structures are carefully placed within the restored channels to create riffle and pool complexes, maintain sinuosity and stability, and improve water quality and habitat. 

To learn more about the Bank and available credits contact Kelly Sands at (850) 661-4292 or ksands
Supporting Young Professionals - WES Develops Mentor Program
School may be out for the summer, but the learning opportunities have just begun for six student interns added to the WES team! Over the next few months these students will work within various divisions of WES to gain invaluable knowledge about habitat and species conservation.  As part of this year ' s intern program, a mentoring program teaming each intern with a WES employee outside of their assigned department has been initiated. The goal of the program is to further enhance the intern's professional growth through cross-discipline exposure, increasing the range of skills and knowledge necessary for success. Below is an introduction to our new interns and where they will be working over the summer.
Casey Luzius
Casey Luzius has joined the WES team as a sales and marketing intern in our Tallahassee, Florida  office. Casey received her bachelor's degree in environmental science from Florida State University and is currently pursuing her master's degree in chemical oceanography at Florida State University.
Casey co-founded the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals club at Florida State University and continues to stay involved with the organization through event planning and student outreach. In her spare time she enjoys visiting springs and sinkholes found throughout the panhandle. 

Seth Hunt
Seth Hunt joined the WES team as a summer intern in the Auburn, Alabama office. Seth is a native of the Auburn-Opelika area and received his bachelor ' s degree from Auburn University in forestry with an emphasis on land management and spatial analysis. Currently, he is working on his Master of Science Degree in forestry at Auburn University, analyzing land ownership and forest changes in west-central Alabama.

Additionally, his academic interests and other research projects include studying prescribed fire effects in hardwood systems and restoration and ecology of longleaf ecosystems. He previously worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas and has also served as a teaching assistant for the Auburn University
' s Forestry Summer Practicum. 
He also enjoys being actively involved with forestry outreach with programs including the 4-H Club, Boy Scouts, and the Science Olympiad as well as volunteering for Alabama Cooperative Extension System forestry events. Seth ' s hobbies include music, soccer, and most recently, cheese-making.
Talia Leventhal
Talia Leventhal is a WES summer intern for the Auburn, Alabama office. She is a Pennsylvania native, currently attending Pennsylvania State University to complete her bachelor ' s degree in Biological Engineering with a focus on Natural Resource Engineering. Along with her bachelor ' s degree, she will also be finishing a minor in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Watersheds and Water Resources. She hopes she will be able to apply her knowledge to help restore and preserve the environment for future generations.
In addition to her educational background, Talia is involved in volunteer work and philanthropic work which includes stream cleanups, hippotheraphy, fundraising and raising awareness for childhood cancer. She is an accomplished athlete with more than ten years of experience in both horseback riding and mixed martial arts.
Chris Hersey
Chris Hersey joined the WES team as summer intern in the entitlement department of the Sacramento, California, office. Chris was born and raised in a small town east of Sacramento. He spent two years studying Environmental Science at Humboldt State University with a focus on energy and climate, then transferred to California State University Sacramento  (CSUS) to finish his bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on the social impacts of environmental policy. His studies at CSUS fueled his desire to work in wetland restoration and conservation, leading him to participate in volunteer work educating youth about the importance of wetlands.

He enjoys spending time outdoors; primarily hiking, camping, and rock climbing. This summer he is also looking forward to his trip to Russia, where he will visit Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Volga delta.

Kelly Kane
Kelly Kane is Westervelt ' s new design intern in the habitat restoration, design and planning department of the Sacramento, California office.  As the design intern, Kelly will be helping with restoration planning and design support using AutoCAD and ArcGIS as well as assisting with field work activities.

Kelly is currently a master 's student at University of California, Davis studying restoration ecology and water resource management. She graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a bachelor 's degree in Environmental Management and Protection.

In the past, Kelly has worked as an AmeriCorp member monitoring listed salmonid populations with both the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service. She also served as a biological construction monitor for protected species including the California red-legged frog, the California tiger salamander, and nesting migratory birds.

Outside of work and school, Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, gardening and growing food, and swimming. Kelly loves the flora and fauna of her home state of California and is excited to work for a company that restores, enhances, and protects natural areas.

Rebekah Bergkoetter
Rebekah Bergkoetter is a summer intern at the Sacramento, California office. Originally from Arizona, she moved to Oregon to pursue a bachelor 's degree in biology from Southern Oregon University. After completing her undergraduate program, Rebekah moved to California and is currently working towards a master 's degree in biology from CSUS. 

Her current research focuses on the ultraviolet coping mechanisms of the small planktonic crustacean Daphnia within vernal pools of the Sacramento region. She has previously worked for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a scientific aide, and as an assistant for the U.S. Geological Survey for ring-necked pheasant studies. In her spare time, Rebekah enjoys hiking, gardening, and crafting.
Kate Gazzo Joins the WES Team
Kate Gazzo
Kate is a Conservation Planner within the entitlement division of WES's Western Region office, assisting with the entitlement of conservation and mitigation banks. Her responsibilities include performing due diligence for potential property acquisitions, project permitting and agency coordination, and mitigation and conservation project planning. Kate provides ecological monitoring and reporting assistance as well as mitigation planning and design services.

Prior to working for WES, Kate served as a biologist on large-scale transportation projects across California assessing construction-related impacts on biological resources and coordinating state and federal mitigation. Kate has also worked as an ecologist for an ecological restoration and design firm where she performed functional assessments to calculate habitat loss and improve ecological function through restoration design. She has extensive experience analyzing water quality and watershed health issues, including quantifying the ecological risk associated with historical contamination, performing urban and agricultural water quality studies, and researching land conservation as a means to improve downstream water quality.

Kate prefers to spend her free time outdoors. She volunteers with local land conservancies performing onsite restoration, growing and learning about native plants, and participating in river clean-ups.  Someday, Kate would like to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, but for now she is happy being a backpacking weekend warrior.
Chris McColl Joins the WES Team
Chris McColl
Chris has joined WES as a Conservation Planner/GIS Analyst in the entitlement division of Western Region office.  His primary responsibilities include identification of potential properties for new conservation and mitigation banks, implementation of online GIS services and mobile field data collection systems, species habitat model development, data management and aerial photo interpretation.  Chris brings 15 years of extensive experience with GIS technologies, including online mapping applications and Esri Collector mobile applications, drone technology, geodatabase development and management and development of habitat suitability models as well environmental impact analysis and related modeling.

Chris received his Bachelor of Environmental Science degree in geography from the University of Guelph and a Master of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from Central Washington University.  Additionally, Chris received an advanced diploma in GIS systems from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.  Chris has broad experience within the Central Valley working on projects at the regional and state scale including the Butte County Regional Plan, Yolo County Natural Heritage Program, the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, Sierra Nevada Conservation Blueprint, Bird Returns Conservation Program, and the Statewide Rangeland Assessment.
Vanessa  Velazquez Joins the WES Team
Vanessa Velazquez
Vanessa is an Administrative Assistant with WES Western Region office. Vanessa provides administrative support to the office to ensure efficiency in all departments and provides support to managers, employees, interns and customers. 

Prior to working for WES Vanessa worked for a professional portrait studio in Granite Bay, where for many years she helped clients decorate their homes with beautiful portraits of their loved ones. Vanessa received her degree in Nutrition and Business from Sacramento City College and with the knowledge she gained has helped friends and family stay active and healthy by training and supporting them with custom nutrition programs.

Vanessa prefers to spend her weekends outdoors with her family, friends and two dogs. During the warm months of the year Vanessa loves to boat, practicing wake surfing and wake boarding in her free time. In the near future, Vanessa hopes to train to complete a hike of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, which has been an aspiration of hers for many years.

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