Ironwood Consulting Continues Strong Relationship with First Solar

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Ironwood Consulting continues its strong client relationship with First Solar on large-scale solar development projects throughout California and Nevada. Our experienced biologists and planning associates have been providing life-of-project biological resource management services from the start on First Solar’s Desert Sunlight, Copper Mountain, Stateline and Silver State South projects.

 

Ironwood is actively monitoring translocated tortoises and conducting full health assessments on nearly 200 tortoises in the construction phase of Stateline and Silver State South and the proposed Dry Lake SEZ solar projects.

 

Most recently our team spearheaded the tortoise translocation planning on the proposed Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone solar sites. Our technical experts worked together with three project proponents, including First Solar, to draft a comprehensive, agency-approved tortoise translocation plan.

ESDayLogo by Jennifer Hennessey USFWS

Happy Endangered Species Day

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This message from project manager, Tonya Moore to Ironwood staff and colleagues, exemplifies Ironwood’s spirit, dedication, and drive for why we’re in this business:

 

Today, I want to take a minute to thank each and every one of you for assisting me in one of my passions: working for the conservation of animal and plant species. I know some you share this passion and some of you are working with your own passions or gifts but I am grateful for each of you!

 

California, with all its geographic variety, has tremendous biological diversity. The state supports more than 5,000 native plants and more than 1,000 native animal species. At least one-third of the plants and two-thirds of the animals here are endemic species that occur nowhere else in the world. (And we get to live here!)

 

Of all these species, more than 300 are designated by the state as rare, threatened or endangered. There are 133 species listed under the federal Endangered Species

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Desert Sunlight, one of the world’s largest #solar projects, starts commercial operation

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Congratulations to our client First Solar, as Desert Sunlight, one of the world’s largest #solar projects, starts commercial operation http://fslr.co/1KGTouQ

 

Ironwood has worked cooperatively with First Solar throughout permitting and construction compliance for Desert Sunlight, to bring a model of success to how both efficient solar construction and protection of biological resources can be effectively managed.

 

The Desert Sunlight project is model for how effective resource protection can be managed without incurring construction delays or high costs. The project was never delayed for biological resource concerns, yet all desert tortoises were successfully translocated, nests avoided, and other resources were managed to the high protection level required on public lands.

 

Desert tortoise protocol-level surveys conducted on over 12,000 acres
No project delays for biological resource concerns
Performed project clearance in three phases to prevent expensive re-clearing activities and construction delays
Re-cleared project following a 100-year storm event in 2013 with no construction downtime
Nesting avoidance with over 95% success rate
First successful long-distance passive relocation of kit fox

 

You can

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New Inland Empire Office

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To start the new year, we’ve recently moved our Inland Empire office too a new location.

 

Our new physical address is:

370 Alabama Street
Redlands, CA 92373
Contact: Kathy Simon
(909) 798-0330

Employment Opportunities

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Ironwood has two new job openings in our Redlands, CA office.

 

We are seeking a full-time Associate Biologist to provide support to Ironwood’s Project Managers for projects located in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Job responsibilities include literature searches, field surveys, report writing, permitting, compliance and restoration monitoring, and assisting Project Managers in permitting and project coordination.

 

In addition we are seeking a part-time GIS Analyst to work as an integral part of our Information Management team on a range of GIS and information technology related tasks that include GIS data development, analysis and mapping, as well as database and maintenance and programming tasks, in a dynamic and challenging work environment.

For more information on these opportunities, see our careers page.

2014 DTC Annual Symposium

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The annual Desert Tortoise Council Symposium was full of interesting topics and discussions. This year, Kathy Simon (Ironwood) chaired the final session on desert tortoise connectivity, which included presentations from Ken Nussear (USGS), Roy Averill-Murray (DTRO), Chris Blandford (Ironwood) and Rick Simon (Cordoba Corporation). Roy Averill-Murray and the DTRO recently produced guidance documents with regard to the importance of demographic connectivity in terms of recovery efforts. Conserving functional linkages between tortoise conservation areas strengthens the network of conserved lands and helps mitigate against the adverse of effects of population declines, stochastic events, and population isolation. Roy Averill-Murray presented a new method of modeling population dynamics within a spatial context to better understand how local populations or habitat patches contribute to long-term, regional population viability. Ken Nussear introduced a new technique of identifying contact networks among individual tortoises within linkages under study. His study sites consisted of high-elevation, relatively narrow passes that potentially bridge occupied habitat located in neighboring valleys. The

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Biological Resources Support for Two Solar Projects – Primm, NV

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This year has been defined by some major undertakings and accomplishments. In April, Ironwood began providing biological resources support for two photovoltaic solar projects near Primm, NV. Clearance surveys on approximately 4,000 acres commenced in the spring and were completed in the fall. We performed surveys per state and federal guidelines and translocated desert tortoises out of harm’s way and into approved recipient sites. Health assessments were performed on all monitored tortoises during the spring and fall. Radio tracking of transmittered tortoises continues on a regular schedule.

 

The team of biologists dedicated to the clearance effort did an outstanding job placing the welfare of each tortoise in high regard. We are all very grateful for the commitment to excellence that each biologist demonstrated and contributed over the span of four busy months. We also want to acknowledge the contributions of the BLM, USFWS, CDFW, and client representatives who were essential to the success of this year’s effort.

 

In addition to desert tortoise

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Annual Meeting of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society

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Ironwood strongly encourages our team members to consider submitting an abstract for the upcoming annual meeting of The Western Section of The WiIdlife Society being held at the end of January, 2014 in Reno, Nevada. The plenary will be focused on “Harnessing Citizen Science Toward Greater Conservation”. Please contact Ironwood President Kathy B Simon about how you to translate your Ironwood experiences into an interesting presentation; she is helping to organize the papers at the Annual Meeting.

 

There will be a host of scientific sessions on herps (Year of the Snake!), birds, mammals, wildlife technologies, climate change, renewable energy in our deserts, wildlife diseases, road impacts, etc., as well as a symposium on the greater sage grouse and several working group meetings (CA/NV golden eagle, southern Sierra Nevada fisher, greater sage grouse). For schedule and more information, please use this link: http://www.tws-west.org/ac2014_conf.php

 

We would also like to encourage you all to check out The Wildlife Society’s monthly newsletter. Follow this link

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Ironwood & the Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center

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Ironwood and some of its consultants have donated funds to the avian rehabilitation center in Indio.

 

From the Center’s website: “The Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center is a non-profit corporation that was created for the care and rehabilitation of orphaned, injured or sick native wild birds, with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into their habitats. To provide community education in the ways and needs of wild birds. To promote a deeper respect and understanding to the problems facing wildlife, in an environment, which human activities are altering.”

 

Check out their website to read more and, if you’re interested, donate or become a member: http://coachellavalleywildbirdcenter.org/

New Ironwood Headquarters

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Ironwood has a new, central office!
 

It is located on Nevada Street in Redlands, just south of Interstate 10 between the Alabama and California Street exits, convenient for those of you heading out to or heading back from field projects.

 

The front half of the office is traditional office space and the back of the office sports a roll up door to a large storage unit. Contractors and employees alike are welcome to benefit from using the space to transfer and store supplies, and to use the office as a guest work and meeting space.

 

We’re open to other ideas on how to use the space to benefit all of us – ideas welcome. As we furnish the space we will run a photo contest to get all of your work onto the walls and on the big screen in the lobby!