Project Details

Natural Resources


Various locations in New Mexico
US Fish and Wildlife Service

In the forests of southwestern New Mexico, Harris Environmental Group identified roost locations used by lesser long-nosed bats (LLNB) and Mexican long-nosed bats (MLNB), assessed roost conditions and threats, and recommended management actions. We used monitoring techniques and survey methods to determine the number of individuals from these bat species at roosts and identify use patterns by LLNB and MLNB through radio telemetry data. The purpose of this project was to find and survey mine shafts, adits, caves, and other suitable structures (buildings, bridges, crevices, etc.) for use by bats as roost sites, focusing on areas of suitable habitat in the White Signal area south of Silver City, New Mexico. We identified potential bat roosts by accessing available archives including state mining records for known mine shafts and adits, and compiled location and attribute data for 12 mine features within a five-mile radius of White Signal, New Mexico. This project involved coordinating activities with numerous land management agencies, wildlife agencies, and private land owners.


Barry M. Goldwater Range, Luke AFB Arizona
US Air Force

Harris Environmental surveyed portions of the Barry M. Goldwater Range for the endangered Acuña Cactus. Like many military installations, the Barry M. Goldwater Range is largely undeveloped providing large landscapes that support native flora and fauna. Luke AFB balances both training and military activities with conservation and protection of threatened and endangered species at the Range. The fieldwork was conducted in remote areas of the Sonoran Desert near the U.S. border with Mexico, and involved strenuous hiking and potential danger from drug and people smugglers. We located 262 individual plants. We also managed an extensive GIS application which consisted of the use of GPS units, GIS analysis, and geodatabase development to document, analyze, and produce maps for the species. In addition to providing updated maps of current populations, the data collected (e.g., locations, soils, topography, aspect) were used to create a predictive habitat model and generated a suitability map which gives insight to where other populations of this endangered species might exist. The final report summarized all biological monitoring and survey activities.


Camp Pendelton & Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA
US Naval Facilities Engineering Command South West (NAVFAC SW)

Harris Environmental’s provides NAVFAC SW with technical services to manage various natural resources issues at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California. With this four-year 4-million dollar IDIQ Harris Environmental has been tasked with 24 delivery orders, including projects for Vernal Pool Floral Inventory & Mapping, Vernal Pool Faunal Inventory & Mapping, Rare Plant (e.g., Brodiaea, button-celery, willowy monardella, mesa mint, Brand’s phacelia) Studies, Vegetation Community Mapping and Habitat Assessments, Delineation of Jurisdictional Waters of the US, Including Wetlands, Avian (e.g., California gnatcatcher, least Bell’s vireo, southwestern willow flycatcher) Studies, Biological Monitoring (e.g., Pacific pocket mouse, San Diego and Riverside fairy shrimp, arroyo toad, California gnatcatcher, Clapper rail, Stephens’ kangaroo rat), Arroyo Toad Studies and Fencing, Stephens’ Kangaroo Rat Habitat Studies and Trapping, Pacific Pocket Mouse Habitat Studies and Trapping, Invasive Plant Species Management and Abatement (e.g., arundo, fennel, thistle), Habitat Restoration (e.g., riparian, coastal sage scrub, vernal pool, coastal dunes), and Erosion Control & Site Stabilization. We work with a different NAVFAC SW and base project managers for each separate task order.

Natural Resource Management (Sage Grouse Habitat Enhancement) Support

Yakima Training Center, WA
US Army Corp. of Engineers, Seattle District

We hold a multi-year IDIQ for Natural Resource Management Support at YTC in support of managing a population of sage grouse, one of two remaining in Washington. Projects focus on habitat enhancement, predator assessment and management plan, and common raven and sage-grouse augmentation trapping and telemetry monitoring. Many of these natural resource projects are part of collective efforts to rehabilitate sagebrush-steppe habitat across the range that has been impacted by ongoing drought and subsequent wildland fires caused by military operations. Habitat enhancement projects included constructing and installing small temporary and permanent erosion control features such as wattles, rock structures and gabion baskets. Big Sagebrush (1,162,989 seedlings) were planted across six training areas, with additional seed applied over 3,000 acres through aerial application. All projects have components to stabilize soils, restore native sagebrush-steppe, and improve habitat for wildlife across the base.


Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation, Fredonia, AZ
US Bureau of Indian Affairs

Harris Environmental conducted an extensive vegetation study within the 120,000- acre Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation north of the Grand Canyon. We worked with Tribe, BIA, and other government agencies and conducted numerous interviews with local experts, including tribal members. This research incorporated various sources including soil survey results and 70 years of precipitation. The field campaign consisted of vegetation measurements at 90 transects, which included plant species frequency, plant species composition by weight, ground cover by cover categories, individual plan species production, and total plant community production. We also produced a herbarium of more than 120 plant species, including mounted specimens and digital photos of plants in the field as well as collected samples. The study used GIS to analyze topography and soil distribution on the Reservation as well as developing post datacollection site maps and resource maps. All data was entered in the field into an iPad with GPS capabilities, thus decreasing data entry error, and saving the client time and money.


Santa Cruz River, AZ
US Environmental Protection Agency/Pima County AZ

Harris Environmental was retained by Pima County for this EPA-funded project to conduct stream assessments, macroinvertebrate sampling, and vegetation surveys along a 40-km study reach of the lower Santa Cruz River. We determined baseline conditions prior to water facility treatment upgrades in 2013 and provide monitoring to evaluate ecosystem health over time. Four reaches are evaluated using a standard rapid stream assessment approach and macroinvertebrate samples are used to compute biotic indices for indicating changes in stream health. We identified and measured cover percentage of all streamside herbaceous plant species to document changes in wetland plant status and nitrogen affinity. Woody riparian tree and shrub surveys document growth, survival, and density. Originally a one-year contract with a four-year option, Harris Environmental was awarded the three-year extension based on client satisfaction and positive feedback on all aspects of the project. Harris Environmental continues collaboration with Pima County via presentations and annual proceedings such as a Living River.

Arroyo Chico Wash Biomonitoring

Arroyo Chico Wash, Tucson, AZ
USACE (Los Angeles District)/Pima County Flood Control District

Pima County’s Regional Flood Control District (RFCD) has played a leading role in urban riparian conservation in context of flood control, river park, preserve, and ecological restoration developments in Tucson, Arizona. One such example is the Arroyo Chico Park Avenue Basins (Phase 2b), which was completed in late 2012. The 32-acre project converted a heavily disturbed urban open space and incised arroyo into a series of broad detention basins that were planted and seeded with riparian vegetation and surrounded with a path for public use. RFCD has conducted habitat restoration, pre-construction salvage of sensitive species, and translocation of salvaged animals. Harris Environmental is evaluating the success of these efforts by monitoring post-construction vegetation condition, soils, on-site species recovery, and translocated species establishment. These efforts will also benefit pending and future ecological restoration on other regional sites. We are also providing educational support (e.g., RFCD, USACE, neighborhood, media, and website informational needs), and report development.

5-Year Endangered Species Act Update (2005/2010/2015)

Pima Pineapple Cactus, Raytheon Missle Systems, AZ
Raytheon Missile Systems/US Air Force

We provide a Threatened & Endangered Species population update every five years of the established Pima Pineapple Cactus (PPC) population on AFP44. As the PPC is a listed species with the ESA and AFP44 is on federal land, this project aids responsible stewardship and proper management of this endangered species on the property. Regular monitoring is required to ensure current knowledge of the health and distribution of the population on site. Through this periodic monitoring, AFP44 will be able to determine whether or not ESA regulations are being met. A boundary line-to-boundary line survey has been performed by HEG in 2005, 2010, and 2015 on the AFP44 by walking transects across the entirety of the property.


Seattle, WA
WSDOT/Washington State Ferries

Harris Environmental is providing protected species monitoring services during a five year period to support Pacific Pile & Marine, Hoffman Construction, and Washington State Department of Transportation as they rebuild Washington State Ferries’ Colman Dock Ferry Terminal in downtown Seattle. The project will replace the ferry terminal building and much of the supporting pier which must remain open during construction to serve over 9 million passengers per year. Construction activities involving in-water pile driving can produce sound waves which may disturb or impact marine mammals and birds protected by the Endangered Species and Mammal Protection acts. Our team of biologists vigilantly search for whales, orcas, sea lions, and other marine mammals as well as marbled murrelets. When these animals are detected approaching the project or within specified distances, any active pile driving is temporarily halted until the animals move out of the area of impact.