Marin Meza and Thea Fuerstenberg Serve on the Board of WTS

Marin Meza, Senior Biologist/Project Manager, and Thea Fuerstenberg, Senior Archaeologist , are 2019 Board Members of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Sacramento Chapter.
Marin is a continuing Board Member and is co-Chairing the fundraising position, which involves raising funds for the WTS Foundation and at WTS Sacramento events. Thea is co-Chairing the scholarships position, which involves coordination with local high schools and colleges/universities to post scholarship applications for female students studying in a transportation-related field (e.g., engineering and planning).
The objective of WTS is to promote the advancement of women in the transportation industry through programs, services, scholarships, and other activities. The Chapter has offered scholarships since 2005 and has supported young women studying transportation or related fields with over $100,000 in scholarships awarded. This past year, the Chapter awarded eleven female students with $22,000 collectively.
For more information, contact Marin Meza or Thea Fuerstenberg  in the Rocklin office at (916) 782-9100.
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Angela Haas and Caroline Garcia Serve on the Board of The Wildlife Society

Angela Haas, Associate Biologist/Assistant Project Manager, is the Conservation Affairs Committee Chair of the Sacramento-Shasta Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Angela has been a member of the Chapter since 2018 and is Chairing the conservation committee position, which involves coordination with Chairs of Conservation Committees throughout California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Guam to review and comment, if appropriate, on issues that may affect the conservation of wildlife and their habitats.
The Conservation Affairs Committee of the Sacramento-Shasta Chapter has historically worked with diverse groups, including members of government and the public, to discuss local issues affecting people and wildlife in the region. The Chair can then elevate local conservation issues to a platform where they can be addressed using knowledge and expertise at a regional scale.
Caroline Garcia, Assistant Biologist in our San Diego office, is the Social Media Committee Chair of the Southern California Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Caroline has been a member of the Chapter since 2018. Caroline’s role as social media Chair involves advertising professional workshops, promoting networking/social events, sharing interesting wildlife news of the So-Cal Chapter footprint, and encouraging membership engagement through posts on media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
The So-Cal Chapter is currently exploring which platforms are most effective for communicating with members and non-members. As a committee Chair, Caroline attends TWS So-Cal Board meetings in addition to Chapter meetings and assists with running professional workshops, including 2019’s arroyo toad and burrowing owl workshops.
Founded in 1937, The Wildlife Society is an international network of nearly 10,000 leaders in wildlife science, management and conservation who are dedicated to excellence in wildlife stewardship. Its mission is to inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitats through science-based management and conservation. The Wildlife Society is a strong and effective voice in representing wildlife conservation and management and ensuring sustainable wildlife populations in healthy ecosystems.
For more information, contact Angela Haas  in the Rocklin office at (916) 782-9100 or Caroline Garcia in the San Diego office at (858) 279-4040.
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Governor Newsom Addresses Housing Crisis

On January 10, Governor Newsom introduced his 2019-2020 budget proposal to the Legislature. Governor Newsom’s  budget proposes $2.3 billion for new housing, including $1.3 billion in incentives to cities and counties for permitting and planning new homes and supporting local homeless housing efforts, as well as $1 billion in loans and tax credits to subsidize  low- and moderate-income housing construction. The Governor has called for 3.5 million new housing units to be built over seven years. In his State of the State address, Governor Newsom offered state assistance to the 47 California cities that are out of compliance with state housing requirements.
To implement his goals in the short-term, the Governor has requested that the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) establish higher statewide housing targets for 2021 and incentives for local jurisdictions to reach their three-year Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) goals within two years. These incentives include $250 million to assist local jurisdictions in planning for their new goals, including grants to improve staffing and processes at cities, and $500 million for incentives as jurisdictions meet certain planning milestones.
In the long-term, HCD will work with the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to draft an improved RHNA process by December 31, 2022. Beginning July 1, 2023, if a jurisdiction does not have a housing element and has not zoned and entitled for its updated housing goals, SB 1 Local Streets and Roads funding may be withheld. The Governor has also proposed to allocate $500 million for the expansion of the State’s Housing Tax Credit program, a portion of which (up to $200 million) may be used to target moderate-income housing construction.
Given the Governor’s emphasis on new housing in both the short-term and long-term, the use of CEQA streamlining, when applicable, forms an important piece in the Governor’s new housing puzzle. CEQA Guidelines Section 15183.3 and Appendix M provide a streamlined review process for infill projects that satisfy specified performance standards. When infill streamlining is used, the CEQA review can limit review of the topics at a project level if they have been addressed in a planning level decision or by uniformly applicable development policies. CEQA also offers a number of Categorical and Statutory Exemptions for agricultural housing, affordable housing, and residential infill projects; projects consistent with a Specific Plan EIR; and Transit Priority Projects.
If you are interested in exploring how CEQA streamlining might be used for your project, please contact Tom Holm , AICP in the Santa Ana office at (714) 648-0630, or Scott Friend , AICP in the Chico office at (530) 809-1328.
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ECORP Now a California Small Business for Public Works (SB-PW)

ECORP is now a certified State of California Small Business for the  Purpose of Public Works (SB-PW)!

The state recently changed the criteria and added this new category. California’s small business program includes a goal to spend 25 percent of the state’s annual contracting dollars with small businesses.  This certification enables ECORP to compete as a small business and to assist our large business colleagues in meeting their small business subcontracting goals on state procurements.
For more information, contact Kathy Kondor  at (714) 648-0630.
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Tricolored Blackbird Workshop

On July 17 th , ECORP biologists presented a Tricolored Blackbird (TRBL) Workshop for the North State Building Industry Association. Avian Biologist Angela Haas presented background on the species’ breeding and foraging ecology and population trends. Biologist Emily Mecke presented an overview of the different contexts under which the species is currently regulated. The Workshop concluded with, Biologist Taraneh Emam leading a discussion on the future of avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures for TRBL during a project’s development.
Emily Mecke Presenting
Following a petition for emergency action filed in 2015, TRBL (Agelaius tricolor) was listed as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act on April 19, 2018. With the listing, a California Endangered Species Act (CESA) 2081 Incidental Take Permit is required in order to “take” TRBL. Take is defined in the California Fish and Game Code as hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill – or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill. In addition, with the listing comes some uncertainty as to how Lead Agencies and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will regulate impacts to potential TRBL foraging habitat under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). TRBL forage in a wide variety of open habitats, including agricultural fields and grasslands. ECORP can assist project applicants through the CESA and CEQA process with regards to this species. ECORP can also deliver this Workshop to any organization, city, or county that would like to learn more about TRBL regulations.
For more information, contact Lourdes Gonzalez-Peralta or Angela Haas at (916) 782-9100.
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ECORP’s Presentation at SAGE Seminar: Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS – Drones) – Assessment of Environmental Resources

Since 2016 ECORP has implemented UAS technology to support a variety of environmental and regulatory permitting projects. As a leader in UAS technology for environmental applications, ECORP was asked to present at the 2018  Mapping Our World from a New Perspective seminar hosted by the El Dorado County-based trade organization SAGE. SAGE or Surveyors Architects Geologist and Engineers was formed in the 1970s to “provide and share technical expertise for the betterment of the County”.
ECORP’s Dave Krolick and Andrew Myers offered unique insight from real-world experience collecting and analyzing current, accurate, and actionable UAS data in the environmental/regulatory context. Using successful project examples, Dave and Andrew shared the benefits of UAS application in the environmental process, such as construction compliance documentation of historically significant bridge replacements along Route 66 in San Bernardino County and the evaluation of wetland-mitigation-bank conditions in Sutter County. Additional project-specific UAS applications included: hydrology and water quality, wetland monitoring, restoration planning, historic resources documentation, and open space land planning.
For your UAS or mapping needs, contact Dave Krolick  at (916) 782-9100.
Drone 1
Drone 2
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ECORP Assists Placer County to Develop a Tool to Use Lidar Data to Automatically Detect Wetlands and Other Waters of the U.S.

Lidar Only 1High-density topographic mapping data collected by lidar sensors are rapidly becoming available for use in projects. For example, in the California Central Valley local governments and state agencies have access to a valley-wide comprehensive data set developed for the Central Valley Flood Evaluation and Delineation (CVFED) Program. The availability of lidar data brings opportunity for development of large-scale environmental resource datasets and interpretation tools that can be used by local planning authorities.
Recently, ECORP collaborated with Placer County Community Development Resource Agency to develop a lidar-based tool to automatically detect areas likely to support wetlands and waters of the U.S. This tool is being used to develop a regional Depressional Landscape Wetland Index (DLWI) for use in implementation of the Placer County Conservation Program (PCCP). The DLWI will be used by PCCP biologists as the baseline condition for lands in the program and to evaluate changes to the landscape during the permit term.
To develop the DLWI, ECORP processed CVFED lidar data into a raster-gridded Digital Elevation Model (DEM). ECORP then developed a GIS-based process model that automatically identifies enclosed topographic areas and likely flow paths for surface water. The topographic enclosures and linear wetland flow paths were modeled using automation tools developed by ECORP to assist in remote sensing of wetlands and wetland habitats using lidar data inputs. These tools successfully mapped wetlands and waters over the entire 212,000-acre program area and will allow staff at Placer County, the City of Lincoln, and the PCCP to conduct baseline consistency determinations under the PCCP.
Lidar Only 2
Lidar Only 3
The PCCP Depressional Landscape Wetland Index is one example of a tool and dataset that can be derived from lidar data and GIS models and used by a local planning authority. ECORP is continuing to develop creative solutions for large-scale environmental data collection and interpretation using lidar data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
For more information, contact Dave Krolick at (916) 782-9100.
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