Sage Steppe Ecosystem Restoration Strategy EIS
JW Associates was the prime consultant for a project to analyze options for reducing the density of juniper stands within the sage steppe ecosystem on 6.5 million acres of Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands in northeastern California. The purpose of the project is to restore habitat conditions for sage grouse and other sage-obligate species, enhance hydrologic function, and reduce the risk of wildfire. This project was a programmatic approach to landscape-scale restoration of the sage steppe ecosystem. One of the main issues was the impacts on livestock grazing during restoration efforts.
Brad Piehl was the project manager, NEPA and public involvement lead. Jessica Wald was the technical lead and writer/editor. JW Associates hired several subcontractors that were assembled into a unique technical team specifically for this project. JW Associates provided project and technical management, GIS analysis, scoping and public outreach, preparation of 13 specialist reports, and preparation of the draft and final EIS documents. Brad Piehl designed and facilitated nine public meetings during the public comment period for the Draft EIS. Those meetings included five open house style public meetings, two field meetings and meetings with the Counties and the Resource Advisory Council.
The JW Associates team has finished work on the Final EIS and the ROD has been signed. The analysis for the project was done at a programmatic, landscape level and may require amending BLM Resource Management Plans for the Alturas, Surprise, and Eagle Lake Field Offices.