Helping the U.S. Forest Service through Post-Fire Environmental Services
Following large fires, there is a significant level of effort needed to properly assess damage to natural and cultural resources, and to restore habitat to healthy and native conditions. HELIX Environmental Planning (HELIX) has provided specialized and comprehensive environmental services to help clients identify and implement the appropriate response for the restoration and long-term sustainability of forest lands.
Supporting the King Fire Burn Area Emergency Response efforts, two teams of HELIX biologists conducted focused surveys and manual treatment of invasive plants on over 8,000 acres of Eldorado National Forest that was burned in the 2014 King Fire in El Dorado and Placer Counties. The surveys were emergency response, first season efforts at invasive species monitoring and control following the fire, and focused on areas disturbed by fire suppression efforts (e.g., fire lines, roads used by fire equipment, and drop points). The locations and extent of infestations were documented using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and were used in the Forest Service’s database for subsequent invasive plant monitoring and control efforts.
Additionally, three teams of HELIX biologists conducted focused surveys for sensitive plants and habitats, and invasive plants on over 10,000 acres of Eldorado National Forest that was burned. The surveys were conducted in support of the King Fire Restoration Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared by the Eldorado National Forest. The locations and extent of target species and sensitive habitats were collected using handheld GPS units, and customized mapbooks and digitized field forms on iPads. Additionally, HELIX prepared the Aquatics Biology Affected Environment and Environmental Effects sections of the King Fire Restoration Project EIS and conducted data processing and analysis for use in the associated Biological Evaluation/Biological Assessment document for five protected aquatic wildlife species. Analyzed restoration efforts are expected to include logging to salvage burned trees for lumber, removing damaged trees for safety reasons, replanting, prescribed burn, and erosion control.
HELIX’s specific fire-related services include:
- Biological surveys and monitoring
- Archaeological surveys, recording, testing, and monitoring
- Vegetation mapping
- Arboricultural surveys and tree inventories
- Habitat restoration
- Invasive plant removal including prescribed burns
- NEPA technical studies and documentation
- Expert witness testimony
- Extension of staff
We have served the community for 25 years and have in-depth experience with botanical, wildlife, and archaeological surveys as well as habitat restoration and post-fire related projects. We are also experts in environmental planning and compliance and can help clients navigate the complexities of environmental regulations including the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, and Clean Water Act.
For more information and to discuss your specific projects, please contact Catherine Silvester, Environmental Specialist, at 916.365.8715 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.