• BLM Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy

    Logan Simpson recently conducted field data collection to assist the BLM Safford Field Office with a pilot project implementing the BLM’s AIM Strategy in the Southeast Arizona Focal Area. The inventory work was conducted at 50 monitoring plots. Terrestrial data was captured electronically using the Database for Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment and provided to BLM to incorporate into its nationwide database. To assure collection of the highest-quality data, Logan Simpson’s team of biologists, botanists, soil scientists, and rangeland resource specialists attended an official week-long AIM training provided by BLM. Prior to conducting field work, we printed an aerial photo of each plot to use as the plot map. To ensure the best chance of identifying unknown plants, we instituted a standard collection procedure to allow identification later. We took photos, including an object to show scale. We also collected a portion of the plant, with flowers and/or fruit when available, and mounted the specimen in our field herbarium notebook with a detailed label.

  • Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Management Plan Revision and EA

    Logan Simpson worked with the BLM (NEPA lead); Colorado Parks and Wildlife (management plan lead); and the US Forest Service (land manager) to update to the management plan and EA for the 150 miles Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA).  The AHRA is one of the nation’s most popular whitewater boating rivers and receives the highest level of commercial boating of any river in the nation. With 700,000 visitors annually, the AHRA is also popular for camping, wildlife watching, gold panning, and numerous other river-related recreation activities including its Gold Medal Trout Fishery. The challenge for the AHRA is to satisfy seemingly infinite recreational demands while at the same time maintaining both the environmental quality and the quality of visitor experiences along the river. The issue-driven management plan and EA addresses a wide array of topics, with a focus on carrying capacity, potential user conflicts, special activity and special use permitting, travel management updates for key areas, the need for new or improved facilities, and improved access and resource conservation. Logan Simpson led three rounds of public outreach to help guide the AHRA partnership in four different cities across the Front Range and in the project vicinity.

  • BLM Johnson Hill Special Recreation Area Travel Management Inventory

    Logan Simpson completed 220 miles (7,647 acres) of route inventory within the BLM’s Socorro Field Office in New Mexico. The inventoried area included the Johnson Hill (Gordy’s Hill) Special Recreation Management Area and the Quebradas Backcountry Byway. Logan Simpson used the BLM’s GTLF standard in conjunction with a customized data dictionary. The inventory team captured over 1,000 geotagged photos to document route conditions and the location of infrastructure such as stock tanks, cattle grates, campsites, signs, gates, and other features in a landscape that contained very variable terrain that includes deep canyons, sand washes, high sandstone and limestone bluffs, terraces, and escarpments. The Johnson Hill Special Recreation Area is a popular OHV destination with challenging features and our inventory team was able to accomplish the work efficiently and safely. The BLM will use the GIS data and photos collected during the inventory as part of travel management planning.

  • BLM Lander Field Office Travel Management Inventory

    Logan Simpson conducted a route inventory of 5,259 miles for the Lander Field Office within the Agate Flats, Antelope Hills and Crooks Mountain Travel Management Areas in Wyoming. The project, which consists of 1,449,305 acres, was awarded under Logan Simpson’s BLM Travel Management BPA. The team used the BLM’s GTLF standard in conjunction with a customized data dictionary that included unique attributes requested by the field office, such as dominant vegetation type, noxious weed presence and the potential for off-track travel. The inventory team captured thousands of geotagged photos and photo points with over 70 domain choices for features such as route drainage, barrier or hazard, facility, resource, recreation use, and more to document route conditions and the location of infrastructure and other features of interest. The vast inventory area (roughly equivalent to the size of the state of Delaware) for this project was very remote and contained five wilderness study areas. To improve efficiency and minimize commute time our inventory team camped on site and moved our base camp as progress was made. This project received exceptional ratings from the agency in quality, schedule, cost control, management, and regulatory compliance.

  • BLM Salmon and Challis Field Offices Visual Resource Inventories

    Logan Simpson is preparing two visual resource inventories (VRIs) encompassing approximately 5.9 million acres within the BLM’s Challis and Salmon field offices in Idaho. The project areas are nestled between the Bitterroot Mountains and the Continental Divide to the east and the Salmon River Mountain Range to the west. These BLM-managed lands hold some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscapes and notable natural and cultural resources in the state of Idaho.

     

    The VRIs document the scenic quality and visual sensitivity of the area’s outstanding visual, geological, historic, and prehistoric resources including the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness Area, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and Salmon River Special Recreation Management Areas, the Herd and Trail Creeks Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. In addition to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, the project area also contains notable linear scenic platforms such as the Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway, Lewis and Clark Backcountry Byway, and the Sacajawea Historic Byway. The history-filled Sacajawea Historic Byway offers compelling views as well as a wealth of mining and Native American history.

     

    The project area also contains a portion of the longest free-flowing river in the contiguous United States—the Salmon River, which provides the public with exceptional recreation opportunities including whitewater kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and fishing. Tourism and recreation are major economic engines for the area’s small rural communities who place great significance on protecting historic vistas and special use areas.

  • Middle Bald Mountain EIS

    Logan Simpson’s environmental planning team prepared the EIS for a public-safety radio communications site at Middle Bald Mountain, on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in Larimer County, Colorado. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office proposed to construct and operate a government-only public-safety radio communications facility on Middle Bald Mountain for both VHF and 800-megahertz communications. The proposed action would construct an approximately 70-foot high, 3-legged steel lattice tower and equipment building, an access road, and approximately two miles of powerline. This controversial, politically charged NEPA project had a long history prior to Logan Simpson’s involvement and had become bogged down. Technical studies and resource reports were prepared during previous phases, adding complexity to the gathering and use of resource data. Logan Simpson assessed the adequacy and continued relevance of previous technical reports and studies and made recommendations for addressing data gaps. Skilled management of the public involvement process was the key to getting the project back on track. To engage the public at open houses, Logan Simpson created interactive display boards to accept comments on issues, questions, and design options, and also operated an interactive Google Earth station to facilitate receipt of site-specific comments from meeting participants.

  • Great Basin National Park Vegetation Map

    Logan Simpson assigned a team of 12 biologists to determine the different plant community associations (based on the US National Vegetation Classification) that are present at 900 accuracy assessment plots distributed across Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Biological resource specialists navigated to randomly generated locations and recorded precise GPS data, the dominant plant species, vegetal cover by strata, slope and aspect, and photographed the plots. Teams used high-resolution aerial imagery to identify the target associations to sample. Fieldwork was executed efficiently by using ArcGIS-driven modeling, which determined the safest and best cross-country routes through extensive wilderness areas in rugged terrain, which at times reached more than 13,000 feet in elevation. The final report enhanced the vegetation map of the park and predicted vegetation map classes at 84 percent accuracy.

  • Oregon Cultural Resources

    Logan Simpson is providing the BLM Oregon and Washington with cultural resources consultants through three separate indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ)-type contracts. Our contracts cover the BLM Vale, Prineville, Burns, Lakeview, Salem, Eugene, Roseburg, Medford, and Coos Bay districts in Oregon, the BLM Spokane District in Washington, and the Willamette and Umpqua National Forests.

  • Red Mountain and Canaan Mountain Wilderness Areas

    Logan Simpson served as the cultural resources consultants for the BLM St. George Field Office as it developed management plans for the Red Mountain and Canaan Mountain Wilderness areas, which are adjacent to Zion National Park in Utah. Our archaeologists conducted archival research and an intensive-level cultural resources inventory on 2,170 acres to identify the frequency and types of cultural resources. The high-elevation inventory areas (above 7,300 feet) were bounded by sheer cliffs on multiple sides. To overcome the logistical difficulties of the working within these remote, rugged areas, Logan Simpson used pack animals to carry equipment and food/water into the Red Mountain area then cached the materials at temporary supply points. Camp sites were moved on an as-needed basis to balance access to supplies and the work area.Logan Simpson recorded 57 archaeological sites within the Red Mountain area, including numerous large prehistoric artifact scatters and one historic irrigation ditch carved into the natural sandstone bedrock. A historic sawmill and a windlass used to lower timber down the sheer 2,000-foot cliff that bordered the inventory area were recorded within the Canaan Mountain area.

  • Tres Rios Environmental Restoration

    Logan Simpson was part of a multidisciplinary design build team responsible for the environmental restoration and rehabilitation for an approximately 1.5-mile reach of the Salt/Gila River between 107th and 119th Avenues  for the US Army Corps of Engineers, as sponsored by the City of Phoenix. The long-term goal was to restore native Sonoran Desert aquatic and riparian habitats along this Salt/Gila River reach. Multiple iterations of hydraulically-modeled, site-sensitive riverbed recontouring (grading) plans were prepared and evaluated for hydraulic efficiency and cost effectiveness.  The plans were developed with the intent to preserve important existing Cottonwood/Gooddings willow groupings that had been inventoried by Logan Simpson and known threatened and endangered species (Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Southwestern willow flycatcher) habitats, to replicate as closely as possible historic braided stream patterns and cross sections, to seamlessly accommodate storm drainage inflow sources into the overall restoration plan, and to create  sustainable, stratified native aquatic and riparian habitats. The project included the restoration of riparian and wetland marsh habitats, open water, and other upper terrace floodplain habitats along the River reach and the removal of exotic, invasive and/or noxious plants (predominantly Salt Cedar). Logan Simpson led the watercourse layout and alignment study, was the lead restoration designer, developed the restoration chapter of the Design Analysis Report, and prepared native plant inventories, landscape and wetland restoration plans, a SWPPP, a spill prevention control plan, and O&M guidance to assure long term success of the project.

    In addition, Logan Simpson was the primary designer for five trailheads that provide gateways to multiuse trails. We coordinated environmental artwork (betterments) that were integrated at various vantage points. Logan Simpson worked closely with the design builder and general contractor, engineers, specialty contractors, USACE, and the City of Phoenix to develop a project that met flood control, habitat and ecosystem restoration, effluent conveyance, and water reuse goals. The project has won numerous awards, including an Award of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects (Arizona Chapter); APWA Public Works Project of the Year; an Honor Award from Missouri Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies; a Merit Award AND Design Excellence Award from the Design Build Institute of America; an Arzona Forward Crescordia Award; and a Build Arizona Award from the Association of General Contractors (Arizona Chapter).