San Carlos Irrigation Project Facilities Rehabilitation Phase 2 EIS
EcoPlan was awarded a contract by Reclamation to complete an Environmental Impact Statement for Phase 2 rehabilitation of San Carlos Irrigation Project facilities. EcoPlan participated in monthly team meetings, ongoing collaboration with project engineers, and a biology working group with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department to develop alternatives to eliminate or reduce impacts to federally listed and other special status species. Other notable project-related issues addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement were public safety, the generation of dust from construction, changes in drainage and flood patterns, and impacts to cultural resources. EcoPlan prepared the Biological Assessment, which addressed the effects of flow management in the Gila River and other project components on listed species, including the Southwestern willow flycatcher, loach minnow, and spikedace.
Red Lodge Mountain Land Exchange Environmental Assessment
EcoPlan prepared an Environmental Assessment for the proposed exchange of 250 acres of Federal lands for 382 acres of non-Federal lands on the Beartooth Mountains Ranger District of the Custer Gallatin National Forest in southwestern Montana. The exchange was proposed to consolidate Federal lands and facilitate management and development of the existing ski area. EcoPlan completed Class I and III cultural resource investigations and field surveys to document the presence and extent of wetlands, surface waters, vegetation communities, sensitive plants, habitats for other special status species, noxious weeds, and other resources. In support of the Environmental Assessment, we have completed three separate specialist reports, a cultural resources survey report, a Biological Evaluation for sensitive plant species, and a Biological Assessment for effects on listed species including the grizzly bear, Canada lynx, and designated critical habitat for lynx. In addition to cultural resources, specialist or other reports addressed wildlife, threatened and endangered species, Forest Service sensitive and other species of management concern, timber and wildfire fuels, vegetation, noxious weeds, wetlands, and aquatic and riparian habitats. A specialist report prepared by the Forest Service addressing wilderness, roadless areas, public access, and recreation was incorporated into the Environmental Assessment.
Environmental Assessment for Lake Nighthorse
Lake Nighthorse is a component of the Animas-La Plata Project that is being implemented to fulfill the water rights settlement and provide municipal and agricultural water supply to the Ute Mountain and Southern Ute Indian tribes of southwestern Colorado. EcoPlan is preparing an Environmental Assessment for a proposed recreation master plan for development of various recreational facilities around the reservoir. With the Bureau of Reclamation as the lead federal agency, EcoPlan has completed and coordinated resource surveys and prepared a draft Environmental Assessment that addresses impacts of project alternatives on wildlife, cultural resources, recreation, socioeconomics, and other resources. The project has required ongoing coordination with the Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, La Plata County, the City of Durango, and other stakeholders, including the San Juan Water Commission and Southern Ute Tribe.