Category Archives: Natural Resources Management

5 Steps to Urban Forest Management Plan Success

With shifting environmental conditions, cities are recognizing the important role trees play in creating a robust urban forest that is capable of reducing surface temperatures, improving air quality, conserving energy, and increasing quality of life, amongst many other benefits. A sustainable urban forest must contain healthy, well maintained trees with high species and age diversity.

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Start Fuel Modification in Spring to Protect Structures from Fire

Start Early As vegetation starts to dry out after heavy winter rains, spring is a critical time to perform fuel modification for fire protection planning ahead of the hot and dry summer. “Focus on reducing the amount of fuel available to a wildfire by removing dead and dying plants, highly flammable species, dense vegetation, and

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Revisions to 4 Key Wildlife and Wetlands Rules: What It Means for Your Projects

Several federal and state entities have enacted or proposed rule revisions in the past year, which may affect your projects. Read on to find out how. Enacted Rule Revisions Rule revisions to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and to the Clean Water Rule by the U.S. Army

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Federal ESA Implementation Would Change under New Proposed Rules

On July 25, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published three proposed rules in the Federal Register that would substantially revise regulations implementing portions of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The three rules pertain to (1) the level of protection for Threatened species, (2) regulations for

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State Water Board to Consider Changes to Wetlands Procedures

After several drafts informed by public review and comment over the past 10 years, the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) will soon meet to consider adoption of new Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State (Procedures). The Procedures will chiefly outline how to define wetlands and dictate

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How Changes to the MBTA May Affect Your Project

USFWS Reinterprets MBTA Section 2 of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) makes it unlawful to “take” (hunt, pursue, capture, injure, kill, or attempt to do so) a wide variety of migratory birds, except as permitted by regulations (16 U.S.C. § 703). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has consistently interpreted Section 2 as

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What You Need to Know about the 2015 and 2018 Clean Water Rules

After a nationwide implementation delay spanning more than 3 years, the 2015 Clean Water Rule became law in late August 2018 in 22 states (including California) as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. Wetland delineations in all participating states must now follow the 2015 rule. The 2015 rule was published by

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Homes on the Brink: Community Wildfire Protection Planning in the Wildland–Urban Interface

Community wildfire protection planning plays a key role in protecting the millions of homes throughout California located on land designated as Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI). The U.S. Forest Service defines the WUI as places where humans and their development come into contact with (within a half mile of) wildland fuel sources. With 32% of housing in

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New Bills Provide $1 Billion in Funding for Wildfire Hazard Reduction Activities

Record-high temperatures and rainfall levels approaching the record low in California have fueled devastating fire seasons that begin earlier and earlier each year. In an effort to prevent increasingly catastrophic wildfires, California Governor Jerry Brown signed several bills in September that prioritize land management activities focused on forest health, fuel management, and fire prevention. Senate

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