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Project Details

Natural Resources

BAT ROOST SURVEY

Various locations in New Mexico
US Fish and Wildlife Service

In the forests of southwestern New Mexico, Harris Environmental Group identified roost locations used by lesser long-nosed bats (LLNB) and Mexican long-nosed bats (MLNB), assessed roost conditions and threats, and recommended management actions. We used monitoring techniques and survey methods to determine the number of individuals from these bat species at roosts and identify use patterns by LLNB and MLNB through radio telemetry data. The purpose of this project was to find and survey mine shafts, adits, caves, and other suitable structures (buildings, bridges, crevices, etc.) for use by bats as roost sites, focusing on areas of suitable habitat in the White Signal area south of Silver City, New Mexico. We identified potential bat roosts by accessing available archives including state mining records for known mine shafts and adits, and compiled location and attribute data for 12 mine features within a five-mile radius of White Signal, New Mexico. This project involved coordinating activities with numerous land management agencies, wildlife agencies, and private land owners.

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ACUÑA CACTUS SURVEY

Barry M. Goldwater Range, Luke AFB Arizona
US Air Force

Harris Environmental surveyed portions of the Barry M. Goldwater Range for the endangered Acuña Cactus. Like many military installations, the Barry M. Goldwater Range is largely undeveloped providing large landscapes that support native flora and fauna. Luke AFB balances both training and military activities with conservation and protection of threatened and endangered species at the Range. The fieldwork was conducted in remote areas of the Sonoran Desert near the U.S. border with Mexico, and involved strenuous hiking and potential danger from drug and people smugglers. We located 262 individual plants. We also managed an extensive GIS application which consisted of the use of GPS units, GIS analysis, and geodatabase development to document, analyze, and produce maps for the species. In addition to providing updated maps of current populations, the data collected (e.g., locations, soils, topography, aspect) were used to create a predictive habitat model and generated a suitability map which gives insight to where other populations of this endangered species might exist. The final report summarized all biological monitoring and survey activities.

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NATURAL RESOURCES AND RESTORATION IDIQ

Camp Pendelton & Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA
US Naval Facilities Engineering Command South West (NAVFAC SW)

Harris Environmental’s provides NAVFAC SW with technical services to manage various natural resources issues at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California. With this four-year 4-million dollar IDIQ Harris Environmental has been tasked with 24 delivery orders, including projects for Vernal Pool Floral Inventory & Mapping, Vernal Pool Faunal Inventory & Mapping, Rare Plant (e.g., Brodiaea, button-celery, willowy monardella, mesa mint, Brand’s phacelia) Studies, Vegetation Community Mapping and Habitat Assessments, Delineation of Jurisdictional Waters of the US, Including Wetlands, Avian (e.g., California gnatcatcher, least Bell’s vireo, southwestern willow flycatcher) Studies, Biological Monitoring (e.g., Pacific pocket mouse, San Diego and Riverside fairy shrimp, arroyo toad, California gnatcatcher, Clapper rail, Stephens’ kangaroo rat), Arroyo Toad Studies and Fencing, Stephens’ Kangaroo Rat Habitat Studies and Trapping, Pacific Pocket Mouse Habitat Studies and Trapping, Invasive Plant Species Management and Abatement (e.g., arundo, fennel, thistle), Habitat Restoration (e.g., riparian, coastal sage scrub, vernal pool, coastal dunes), and Erosion Control & Site Stabilization. We work with a different NAVFAC SW and base project managers for each separate task order.

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SAGE-GROUSE PREDATOR ASSESSMENT

Yakima Training Center, WA
US Army Corp. of Engineers, Seattle District

Yakima Training Center, Washington, and developing a management plan to reduce predation. One predator is the common raven, which frequent the area because of a nearby municipal landfill. We are studying the raven use of the Yakima Training Center by capturing, marking, and monitoring birds with a combination of radio telemetry and visual identification of color leg bands. A raven food habits study is underway to identify prey remains in raven pellets and nest sites. To gain insight into the full community of potential sage-grouse predators, a mammalian predator detection and food habits study also is being conducted. We set remote cameras in 25 locations across the installation, along travel corridors and other high use areas and capture images of predators in their natural environment. Scat deposition rate surveys are underway to estimate abundance of specific predators based on their rate of defecation. To ensure that all mammalian predators are accounted for, we conduct night spotlight surveys as another means of predator detection. Several sage-grouse in the population have been relocated from neighboring states to increase genetic diversity. These birds are tracked with radio telemetry and we will trap an additional 10 sage-grouse in Idaho and relocate to the study area this year.

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PLANT INVENTORY

Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation, Fredonia, AZ
US Bureau of Indian Affairs

Harris Environmental conducted an extensive vegetation study within the 120,000- acre Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation north of the Grand Canyon. We worked with Tribe, BIA, and other government agencies and conducted numerous interviews with local experts, including tribal members. This research incorporated various sources including soil survey results and 70 years of precipitation. The field campaign consisted of vegetation measurements at 90 transects, which included plant species frequency, plant species composition by weight, ground cover by cover categories, individual plan species production, and total plant community production. We also produced a herbarium of more than 120 plant species, including mounted specimens and digital photos of plants in the field as well as collected samples. The study used GIS to analyze topography and soil distribution on the Reservation as well as developing post datacollection site maps and resource maps. All data was entered in the field into an iPad with GPS capabilities, thus decreasing data entry error, and saving the client time and money.

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VEGETATION & MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSESSMENT

Santa Cruz River, AZ
US Environmental Protection Agency/Pima County AZ

Harris Environmental was retained by Pima County for this EPA-funded project to conduct stream assessments, macroinvertebrate sampling, and vegetation surveys along a 40-km study reach of the lower Santa Cruz River. We determined baseline conditions prior to water facility treatment upgrades in 2013 and provide monitoring to evaluate ecosystem health over time. Four reaches are evaluated using a standard rapid stream assessment approach and macroinvertebrate samples are used to compute biotic indices for indicating changes in stream health. We identified and measured cover percentage of all streamside herbaceous plant species to document changes in wetland plant status and nitrogen affinity. Woody riparian tree and shrub surveys document growth, survival, and density. Originally a one-year contract with a four-year option, Harris Environmental was awarded the three-year extension based on client satisfaction and positive feedback on all aspects of the project. Harris Environmental continues collaboration with Pima County via presentations and annual proceedings such as a Living River.

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