Planning, Permitting, Construction Monitoring, SBKR Relocation
Study, Habitat Restoration
The Inland Valley Development Agency (IVDA) widened Mountain View Avenue from a two lane to a four-lane road between the Interstate 10 Freeway (I-10) and the Santa Ana River and replace the existing railroad style bridge over the Santa Ana River with a new, modern bridge that would connect with the existing road system near Central Avenue north of the River. The new bridge was 90 feet wide, 21 feet high, with 15 feet from the river channel bottom to the base of the new bridge. Activities included dewatering by constructing temporary wells upstream of the bridge construction. The project impacted approximately 6 acres of significant resources in the Santa Ana River flood plain. This project was mapped
in critical habitat for the federally listed San Bernardino kangaroo rat (SBKR), was occupied by three state and federally protected species including the SBKR; Santa Ana River woollystar, and slender-horded spineflower, and impacted jurisdictional waters of the U.S. and streambed waters of the state. Jericho Systems Inc performed a variety of services from conception to construction for this project:
Biological Surveys, Regulatory Permitting
Since this inception of the Mountain View Bridge Project in 2009, Shay Lawrey (Jericho Systems, Inc’s President ) had conducted all biological resources studies and obtained all required regulatory approvals. She prepared the Biological Assessment (BA), Jurisdictional Delineation (JD) and Habitat Mitigation and Reporting Plan (HMMRP) for this project in accordance with California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) standards and regulations. Since the beginning, she served as the Project liaison with the State and federal regulatory agencies. Ms. Lawrey obtained the Clean Water Act Sections 404 and 401 permits, California Fish and Game Code Sections 1600 and 2081 permits and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act Section 7 Incidental Take Permit.
SBKR Relocation/Telemetry Study
Most notably on this project, Jericho’s president, Ms. Lawrey, personally designed and implemented, with collaboration from the USFWS, a SBKR relocation plan that included complete exclusion, trapping, and relocation from the construction zone into adjacent suitable habitat. This study included radio telemetry to determine if the trapped individuals re-entered into the exclusion zone or not, and to track the relocated individuals reaction and survival in new territory, and to track the resident individuals reaction to the relocated alien individuals. With the assistance of the Zoological Society of San Diego, Ms. Lawrey fitted small transmitter backpacks on each relocated and resident SBKR. Ms. Lawrey personally tracked and documented the transmitered SBKR movements over two tracking periods consisting of 45 consecutive nights each period. The study concluded that the exclusion worked with no animals returning into the work zone, survivability was high and the resident SBKR accepted the alien relocated individuals. Ms. Lawrey experienced first-hand the species’ response to changes in weather patterns and flooding. The study provided IVDA Mountain View Bridge significant insight into this species’ habits and sensitivities for the USFWS to better manage this species. With this experience, Ms. Lawrey is considered an expert with regard to SBKR. For the client, this plan demonstrated mitigation success and compliance with the USFWS Take Permit and relocation plan.
Ms. Lawrey, Jericho’s president was chosen as the Designated Biologist tasked with construction monitoring for compliance with all aspects of all regulatory permits.
Jericho Systems assisted IVDA with negotiating off-site mitigation lands as well as the habitat restoration on the project site and conducted the required post-construction monitoring. Ms. Lawrey also conducted a USFWS-approved telemetry study of SBKR movements after the relocation to determine successful relocation.