Project Details



Barry M Goldwater Range, Luke AFB, AZ
US Air Force

Management in identifying suitable habitat for Acuña cactus, and endangered species, on the installation. This model was based on a composite overlay of soils and natural communities data, as well as elevation contours derived from a 10 meter digital elevation model, and identifies areas of High, Moderate and Low suitability for species within BMGR East. The specific variables selected were based on previously known Acuña cactus locations on BMGR East and adjacent lands as well as locations documented during the 2012 survey effort. Using 10 meter (33-foot) elevation contours, the soil/vegetation composite was divided into three categories identifying high, moderate and low suitability. The elevation within the composite considered to be within suitable habitat for the species ranged from 400 meters (1,312 feet) to 1,070 meters (3,510 feet) AMSL (the most inclusive elevation range for the species is listed as 400 to 1,200 meters [3,937 feet]. As the elevation for Acuña cactus documented within BMGR East ranged from approximately 710 to 780 meters, and other areas also surveyed in the vicinity of these locations fell above and below these values, an elevation range of 700 to 800 meters was selected to delineate areas of high suitability.


Bishop, CA
Bishop-Paiute-Shoshone Tribe

Harris Environmental provided GIS support to the Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Cultural Preservation Project through the production of aboriginal territory maps, and maps specific to their Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) project. Working with the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, we synthesized data from historic territory boundaries with early ethnographic and anthropological research and oral history from Paiute Shoshone people of the Owens Valley. This data was reviewed and approved by traditional cultural practitioners and the Bishop Indian Tribal Council. Two museum-quality maps were produced that the Bishop Paiute Tribe uses to educate visitors to the Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center and to further their claims of cultural affiliation for repatriation of human remains and funerary objects under NAGPRA law. The maps were submitted as part of the tribe’s interim progress report required under their NAGPRA consultation and documentation grant, and were praised by the National NAGPRA office in Washington, DC. In January, 2012, the Inyo County Superintendent of Schools requested the maps be integrated into local curriculum.


Various locations in AZ, CO, NM, UT
US Fish & Wildlife Service

Harris Environmental prepared and Environmental Assessment for the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Zuni bluehead sucker under the Endangered Species Act. As part of this effort, Harris Environmental developed an extensive GIS database to support data analysis, modeling and cartography. Team personnel worked closely with involved stakeholders including USFWS GIS, Regional Office, and contracting staff. The GIS analysis facilitated efforts to delineate Critical Habitat for the focal species as well as identify geographic distributions for other species in order to pinpoint areas of Critical Habitat overlap. Data was gathered form multiple repositories across resource management agencies including the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Critical Habitat data portal, Bureau of Land Management, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. An important facet of this project included locating areas of conservation concern to the sucker including sensitive aquatic ecosystems, Wilderness areas, ACECs, wild and scenic rivers, watershed boundaries, floodplains, wetlands, and prime agricultural lands.


Kaibab-Paiute and Hopi Reservations, AZ
US Bureau of Indian Affairs/Helios Resources

Harris Environmental has conducted several rangeland inventories which require a Global Information Systems (GIS) framework to conduct spatial analysis and calculate stocking rates. All pasture boundaries were verified, and refined when necessary, using a combination of ground-truthing (e.g., using Global Positioning System [GPS] units in the field) and high-resolution aerial imagery analysis. GIS processing tools were used to create pieo-spheres around reliable waters to evaluate resources (e.g., plant productivity) within areas available for livestock grazing. Vegetation Surveys were correlated to ecological site descriptions and respective acreages were used to calculate stocking rates and establish carrying capacities. These efforts required manual digitization of water sources (seasonal, functional, non-functional); natural topography, fencing, and roads (to refine boundaries); and exclusion zones (e.g., farming, archaeological sites, riparian areas, etc not accessible to livestock). Final maps were produced to guide future planning and management, including livestock grazing and permitting decisions.

Regional Water System Project

Pojoaque Basin, NM
US Bureau of Reclamation

Harris Environmental supported the Bureau of Reclamation’s Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System Project in northern New Mexico with cultural resource services. We developed treatment and monitoring plans, undertook pedestrian surveys of selected areas, and created a predictive model to explain prehistoric settlement in the basin to assist Reclamation’s engineers in the construction process so as to avoid as many cultural sites as possible. The predictive model included an analysis of settlement patterns for the Pojoaque Basin and specifically linked the location of remnant Holocene alluvial terraces to archaeological potential. Using GIS, we incorporated large data sets into a holistic model that met Reclamation’s needs and furthered our understanding of the regional archaeology. This effort helped to predict the location of sites between 1500 BC and AD 1200 (Late Archaic to Developmental Periods). It also challenged traditional models for the interpretation of northern Río Grande prehistory.