Ecology Photo of the Month

The Morgan Fire of 2013 burned nearly 3,000 acres primarily on the east and south sides of Mount Diablo. In the spring of 2014 Nomad Ecology conducted a post-fire study of fire-following annual plants. In several of their plots fire poppy (Papaver californicum) was observed - an exciting find! Fire poppies haven’t been seen on Mount Diablo since after the 1977 fire, nearly 40 years ago.  

 

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    Regulatory Services

    Depending on the scope, design, and/or goals of a project, compliance with environmental laws, regulations, and policies may be necessary. Nomad’s breadth of experience in permitting, regulatory compliance, and preparation of environmental public documents effectively facilitates project implementation and completion through our strong background in the biological resources field and established agency relationships.

    Nomad Ecology

    Regulatory Permitting & Consultation

    Provide assistance with regulatory permit preparation and acquisition. Typical permits include California Department of Fish and Game 1600 Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit, Regional Water Quality Control Board Section 401 Water Quality Certification, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Section 7 Formal Consultation, among others.

    Biological Resource Assessments

    Describe the existing biological environment and how project alternatives affect that environment. The NES is a Caltrans document that provides the technical backup for statements made in the environmental document concerning special-status plants, animals, and natural communities occurring in the project study area.

    NEPA/CEQA Planning & Compliance

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act, Nomad assists clients in the preparation of baseline biological resource studies, impact analyses, Initial Studies (IS), Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Environmental Impact Reports (EIR), and other ancillary publicly reviewed documents.

    Environmental Impacts Analysis

    Following an initial assessment of on-site biological resources, project-related impacts to sensitive resources are analyzed, calculated, and incorporated into regulatory permits and formal project descriptions.

    Mitigation Planning & Implementation

    Impacts to sensitive plant and wildlife species and regulated habitats such as jurisdictional wetlands, often require mitigation as part of the permit approval process. Mitigation planning can reduce the cost of mitigation by modifying the project design to avoid or minimize impacts to sensitive biological resources. Proper mitigation planning can expedite project buildout and facilitate timely permit acquisition. Mitigation is often stated as a ratio of habitat replacement to habitat loss e.g., 1:1 or 3:1, and can include both on-site and off-site components.

    Mitigation Land Reconnaissance

    Approval and acquisition of mitigation land often requires an assessment of habitat suitability to determine the appropriateness of the subject property to habitat requirements for project related impacts may be necessary. Reconnaissance-level surveys of potential off-site mitigation lands can determine the suitability of a given parcel as mitigation land. Provides a suitability assessment to support land acquisition and mitigation approval.

    Mitigation & Monitoring Programs

    Agency required mitigation may also involve long term monitoring (e.g., 2-10 years) following implementation. To comply with agency mitigation requirements, regular monitoring and yearly reports must be submitted to the respective agency. These annual reports provide an analysis of the health of mitigation efforts e.g., wetland creation or restoration, until the monitoring period is complete and the success criteria are met.

    Regulatory Agency Consultation

    The presence of special-status species, whether assumed or verified, within a given study area may warrant consultation with one or more regulatory agencies such as the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Agency consultation may alleviate the need for unnecessary impacts to regulated environmental resources and result in cost-saving solutions for the project proponent. Agency consultations are often the preliminary step toward obtaining project related regulatory permits.

    Construction & Regulatory Compliance Monitoring

    As stipulated in the permit conditions of many agency issued permits and biological opinions, biological monitors aid in the adherence of permit conditions, provide environmental awareness training to construction crews prevent construction crews from creating non-permitted impacts, correspond with agency personnel, and are there to problem solve during construction.