Vernadero provides the following Conservation Services:
NEPA requires federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of their actions during the planning process. The NEPA process provides decision makers and stakeholders with the information they need to understand potential environmental impacts of proposed actions. Vernadero’s project managers and senior scientists have the expertise to guide you through the NEPA process as painlessly and effectively as possible. Our NEPA specialists have helped clients maneuver through the NEPA process for the past 10 years, assisting them in meeting both their mission and regulatory requirements.
Vernadero has conducted and managed biological surveys and studies within a myriad of habitat types from aquatic ecosystems to urban landscapes. Baseline biological surveys and impact studies help Military installations and Regional Support Commands (RSC) manage and conserve their natural resources. Information from these surveys lets Vernadero help our U.S. Army clients maintain their Military mission while sustaining or enhancing the natural environment on U.S. Army properties. Recommendations from these surveys and studies help our clients conserve natural resource components in line with federal stewardship requirements.
Vernadero’s senior ecologists and regulatory scientists provide turn-key Section 7 support. From early consultation scoping actions through document production and agency coordination, Vernadero provides a stable and constant momentum through this complex and often times challenging regulatory process.
Vernadero’s experienced professionals collect and analyze information regarding the proposed action and existing biological data from the area, and using information from the USFWS, NMFS, and/or state agencies determine listed species that could occur in the area. Vernadero has a trained staff of experienced biologists that has collected this type of information for numerous projects.
Vernadero has prepared a number of successful Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans (INRMPs) that continue to function as the referenced installation’s plan of action for the management of natural resources. Our experience in the implementation of INRMPs at the installation and regional command level allows Vernadero to help our U.S. Army clients ensure the maintenance of high quality training lands to sustain their critical Military mission.
Building upon existing documentation, our multi-disciplinary team performs a comprehensive review of mission activities and future requirements. We then create resource management and protection strategies to maximize the utility of existing training lands and resources. Finally, we develop a detailed program implementation schedule and framework to align with anticipated future recurring and non-recurring program budgets. Once complete, Vernadero actively coordinates document review amongst the regulatory agencies and works diligently towards final agency and Command signatory approval.
An integral part of endangered species management is the preparation of an Endangered Species Management Plan for all Army land uses. This must be done for listed and proposed threatened and endangered species and critical habitat present on installations as required by Army Regulation (AR) 200-1. Vernadero has completed Endangered Species Management Plans for many federally listed species and special-status species management plans for several state listed and sensitive species.Vernadero has biologists with the required expertise and permits to conduct surveys for numerous federally-listed and state sensitive species of plants and animals. Surveys include initial site surveys to determine the presence/absence of sensitive species, continued surveys to verify the absence of a sensitive species as necessary, and long-term monitoring of sensitive species where required. These surveys are summarized in the management plan and form the basis for conservation goals and management activities.
Vernadero has the experience to help you navigate the requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and ensure you identify and preserve any wetlands that may be on your installation or facility. The CWA was enacted by congress to protect the nation’s waters, including wetlands. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) regulates the discharge of fill material into wetlands under Section 404 of the Act. Army Regulation 200-1 defines the Army’s requirements for conservation, management and restoration of natural resources including wetlands. In addition, the Army’s Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans requires the protection, enhancement, and restoration of wetlands, where necessary and consistent with the Military mission.
Pest and invasive species are a normal occurrence on Military installations which can affect training and operations. Vernadero has successfully prepared various Integrated Pest Management Plans (IPMP) and Invasive Species Management Plans (ISMP) that function as a U.S. Army installation or Regional Support Command’s (RSC) guide for management of these unwanted species. Our experience in implementing these management plans at those levels permits Vernadero to help our clients maintain high quality training lands and facilities critical to a sustainable Military mission.
Pest and invasive species removal becomes necessary when the cost (fiscal and physical) of other control measures is too high or threatens rare species or habitats. Pest and invasive species are usually self-maintained and highly prolific making the complete local eradication of the species difficult. Vernadero has successfully planned, designed, and implemented various pest and invasive species removal programs within U.S. Army installations and U.S. Army Reserve Regional Support Commands.
Vernadero has experience utilizing proper tools and methods for controlling invasive species. Our experience includes removal of invasive species using multiple methods: simple hand pulling, large scale operations using back hoes, and chemical applications, as well as a combination of physical and chemical methods. Vernadero also brings experience with hand planting and broadcast seeding of native vegetation after the removal of invasive species to rehabilitate the landscape.
Vernadero has a long-track record conducting habitat restoration on U.S. Army and Army Reserve installations, reserve centers and training areas nationwide. Our experienced team of biologists, ecologists, GIS analysts and environmental planners work together to develop cost-effective strategies for the restoration of native and special status species habitats. Wetland protection and/or enhancement can be required under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act if jurisdictional wetlands may be impacted by a proposed project, for the protection of sensitive species, or as part of the implementation of the INRMP. Measures to protect or enhance wetlands can include restriction of use of existing wetlands, improving existing wetland water quality, eliminating invasive species from wetlands, creating new wetlands, re-establishing sensitive species in appropriate wetland types, and protecting existing wetlands off site.
Vernadero biologists have experience in protecting wetlands and re-establishing sensitive species into wetlands and have an experienced staff that can manage any wetland protection/enhancement project. Threatened, endangered, and other sensitive species (sensitive species) habitat restoration projects can arise from recommended conservation measures during the Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultation process and from requirements for state sensitive species conservation. Measures to improve sensitive species habitat quality can include spatial and/or temporal restrictions on human use of sensitive species habitat, fencing of sensitive habitat to preclude the use of the habitat by unwanted animals such as cattle, control of invasive plant and animal species, and the re-vegetation with native plant species important to sensitive species.
Vernadero has provided recommendations regarding restricting human use of sensitive species habitat, has implemented and carried out invasive plant species removal in sensitive species habitat, has restored sensitive species to appropriate unoccupied habitat, and has planted native plants important to sensitive species.
U.S. Army lands contain tens of thousands of archaeological sites within installation boundaries, including sites in training ranges as well as cantonments. These sites range from those representing Native American pasts to early pioneer settlements to more contemporary sites related to the history of the Army itself. These sites must be identified and examined to meet compliance requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) set forth in 36 CFR Part 800. The Army Alternate Procedures (AAP) are streamlined processes Army installations can use to satisfy the NHPA requirements. Native American sites meeting the NHPA requirements must also be identified, avoided if possible, or remediated, and inventoried.
Vernadero can assist with the preparation of the NHPA requirements or AAP implementation as well as facilitation of archeological studies. Vernadero, as a part of required environmental work, can prepare cultural resources components of Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Statements, Environmental Impact Reports, and Categorical Exclusions. Vernadero ensures that all our clients comply with all applicable Federal laws, regulations, and executive orders pertaining to archaeological resources and Native American issues including NHPA, ARPA, NAGPRA, AIRFA, NEPA, and AR 200-1.
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