Private sector development brings unique and complex challenges in the State of California. Many outside entities have the ability to influence the design and progress of your development projects. You need someone on your team who understands the regulatory and political environment and who will work alongside you to navigate, negotiate, and strategically pursue project approval.
Constraints Analyses : ECORP employs state-of-the-art technology and a proven approach to screening project locations and alternatives for developers, long before projects are designed and engineered. This saves time and money by helping to identify fatal flaws and other potential regulatory issues early in the planning process.
Peer Reviews : Our experienced archaeologists and architectural historians are independent experts who review technical studies prepared by other consultants to
determine compliance with applicable regulations and laws. Doing so before the reports are submitted to agencies can save permitting time and provide a level of confidence for your application process.
Confidential Compliance Strategy
: ECORP’s expert cultural resources specialists include faculty in the California State University system who teach advanced cultural resources law courses for planners and future professionals. Our knowledge of cultural resources laws allows us to work well with land use and environmental attorneys to provide you with the strategies necessary to achieve project approval in a quick and efficient manner. We develop options for compliance strategies that are in accordance with the law and meet your unique needs.
Agency/Tribal Liaison and Negotiation : New and complicated tribal consultation requirements and short-staffed reviewing agencies can result in obstacles to your project’s planning schedule. ECORP’s senior staff includes a specialist trained in cultural resources conflict resolution and negotiation to help achieve consensus and move your project forward.
Technical Studies, Documents, and Mitigation
: ECORP’s well-rounded and multi-disciplinary in-house staff can also provide you with cultural resources surveys, evaluations of significance, archaeological excavation, and monitoring – everything that you need from project initiation to project construction.
Exceptional Client Service : Since 1987, ECORP’s service to the private and public sectors has taught us to be cognizant of schedules, while being sensitive to costs. We function as a member of your project planning team, providing customized, high quality service in a timely manner. We have experts throughout California and near your project area, with additional capabilities in New Mexico, to provide you with a personal consulting experience specific to your location.
For more information, contact Lisa Westwood
, RPA, Director of Cultural Resources at (916) 782-9100.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy held a Regulatory Reform Roundtable in Sacramento in May. In attendance was Lisa Westwood, ECORP’s Director of Cultural Resources and the Standing Policy Chair of the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Land Use and Natural Resources Committee.
Ms. Westwood spoke about the regulatory challenges faced by small business consultants, local agencies, and private developers in complying with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. She urged the Small Business Administration to support federal agencies adopting programmatic agreements, similar to the one that has been championed by the Metro Chamber as part of its Cap-to-Cap program.
ECORP is currently a Federal Small Business which enables us to compete for federal small business set-aside contracts and assist our large business colleagues in meeting their small business subcontracting goals on federal full and open procurements.
We qualify as a Federal Small Business for the following NAICS Code categories:
541620 Environmental Consulting Services
541690 Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
541720 Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities
541990 All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
562910 (1) Remediation Services
562910 (2) Environmental Remediation Services
541330 Engineering Services
541360 Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services
541370 Surveying and Mapping (except Geophysical) Services
541511 Custom Computer Programming Services
541513 Computer Facilities Management Services
813312 Environment, Conservation and Wildlife
For more information, contact Kathy Kondor
at (714) 648-0630
Christine Tischer, Senior Biologist, has been managing the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary’s tree swallow nestbox program since 1999. Although tree swallows are not a special-status species, they are a migratory bird species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The breeding bird survey found that this species was down to less than a handful of breeding pa irs in Orange County during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Tree swallows and western bluebirds were on the decline due to the shortage of natural cavities and competition for nest sites by non-native European starlings and house sparrows. A handful of nestboxes were installed by the Irvine Ranch Water District, with assistance from Sea and Sage Audubon, in the late 1990s.
Beginning with just eight volunteers, Christine oversaw the weekly scheduling of volunteers (including herself) , determined monitoring protocol, managed the data that were collected, defended the boxes from parasites and predators, and readied the boxes for subsequent nestings once the chicks fledged. She took the initiative to contact a Master Bander and learned how to band tree swallows and eventually earned her in dividual banding permit.
Eighteen years later, Christine is still managing the program which has grown to 105 boxes and a group of 20 vol unteers and is now a registered site with Cornell University’s Golondrinas de las Americas international program. Christine is proud to be a part of this citizen science program that has successfully brought back the tree swallow as an Orange County breeding bird species.
ECORP’s Redlands office recently hosted the Board of Directors of the Desert Tortoise Council (DTC) for one of their regular board meetings. The DTC was established in 1975 to promote conservation of the desert tortoise in the deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico. The non-profit organization comprises hundreds of professionals and laypersons who share a common concern for desert tortoises in the wild and a commitment to advancing the public’s understanding of the species.
The DTC provides training courses, awards grants for students and professionals doing research on desert tortoises, and comments on projects that affect desert tortoises and their habitats. In addition, the DTC puts on an annual symposium that brings together researchers, environmental professionals, government entities, students, and non-profit organizations to provide updates on the status of the species, habitat condition, health concerns, and conservation efforts. To find out more or to become a member of the DTC, visit their website at: http://www.deserttortoise.org/index.html
Now that you have your regulatory permits, you are ready to construct, right? Not so fast!
Did you realize that your permits come with conditions and reporting requirements? Not only are we seeing more permit conditions and requirements in permits, but the regulatory agencies are more diligent in making sure they get done. Don’t let permit compliance hinder your construction season! Your construction team is already busy scheduling a tight construction schedule. Let ECORP help you navigate your permit compliance needs.
ECORP is ready to assist you at all levels of compliance.
Permit Condition Tracking and Reporting
- We synthesize your permit conditions and mitigation measures into a simplified implementation and reporting schedule that is clear and easy to follow.
- We notify and submit reports to the agencies on the Project’s behalf so you never miss a deadline.
- We assist with mitigation requirements by finding available credits with mitigation banks.
Construction Crew Training
- We engage with contractors, equipment operators, and Project Managers to help you understand permit conditions and how to implement them in the field.
- We complete pre-construction surveys and flag or fence sensitive resources.
- We operate drones to inspect buildings and other structures for nesting birds or bats prior to demolition.
- We conduct bilingual (English and Spanish) Worker Environmental Awareness Program (WEAP) training so your construction team understands the permit conditions, monitoring requirements, and sensitive species on your Project site.
Onsite Monitoring and Compliance
- We monitor construction activities and proactively educate the construction team to implement corrective actions in order to avoid construction stoppages or fines for non-compliance.
- Our permitted biologists are qualified to monitor a range of sensitive species.
- We prepare and assist with implementation of restoration plans and long-term Operations and Management plans for Preserves.
- We prepare Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) to obtain coverage under the Construction General Permit (CGP).
- We provide SWPPP program management and QSP (Qualified SWPPP Practitioner) stormwater monitoring services for construction sites to assist dischargers with CGP compliance.
It’s not every day that our biologists get to make film appearances!
In 2013, ECORP was working on a project for National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) which involved biologists surveying substantial portions of the Ivanpah Valley and Superior-Cronese Desert Wildlife Management Areas (designated critical habitat for desert tortoise) and the Southeast Conservation Area of Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert searching for evidence of desert tortoise predation under active common raven nests.
At that same time, the NFWF and the Desert Managers Group (DMG) were in talks with a filmmaker, Timothy Branning, about creating a documentary on the plight of the desert tortoise due to the persistent and opportunistic common raven. One thing led to another, and ECORP biologists Kristen Wasz and Gregory Hampton found themselves in front of the camera during a nest survey that April!
The biologists were asked to describe the surveys, the overall purpose of the project, and walk future viewers through a typical survey day in the desert.
The documentary was finalized in 2015 and debuted at the Idyllwild International Film Festival that same year. After multiple presentations at film festivals, the documentary was nominated for several awards, ultimately winning two awards for Best Film in wildlife-related categories. The 30-minute documentary recently aired on KCET in April 2018, raising even more public awareness about the serious and ever-present threat that common ravens pose to California’s state reptile.
Watch the documentary in the video below.
See Kristen and Greg’s documentary debut at 20:56!
For more information, contact Kristen Wasz at (909) 307-0046.