• Community Wildfire Protection Plans

     The wildland urban interface (WUI) is the area where homes are built near or among lands prone to wildland fire. These areas have become more popular for homeowners for their privacy, natural beauty, recreational opportunities and affordable living. As a result, rural fire districts are more often having to fight fire and protect homes and property within these WUI areas. Logan Simpson developed the first two CWPPs in Arizona for the at-risk communities of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest that complied with Title I of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA). We facilitated the collaboration among Federal, state, and local partners as well as Native American tribes to developed these two CWPPs and established priorities to reduce the risks to communities and surrounding lands. Subsequent to these first two CWPPs, Logan Simpson developed 20 CWPPs, analyzed over 31 million acres, and gathered input from over 300 communities across multiple states.

  • National Historic and Scenic Trails Methodology, Field Guide, and Training

    Logan Simpson’s landscape architects, archaeologists, historic preservationists, biologists, visual resource specialists, and recreation specialists recently worked with the BLM to develop a first-of-its-kind methodology to help inventory, assess, and monitor National Scenic and Historic Trails (NSHTs). Since National Trails often cross multiple administrative boundaries, the BLM purposefully designed the methodology so it could be used by all agencies and organizations who share management responsibilities. This integrated approach provides federal, state, and local agencies and trail organizations with a common framework as they inventory, assess, and monitor each trail’s resources, qualities, values, settings and uses.

    The National Trails Methodology considers four landscape elements―natural, scenic, historic and cultural, and recreation―and how they work together to define the nature, purposes, and uses of a trail. An interdisciplinary team made up of agency decision-makers, technical professionals in each resource area, and members of trail organizations and volunteer groups implements the methodology. Together, they determine how to study the trail—from the locations from which inventory will be conducted to how data will be collected and analyzed, and eventually to how resources will be monitored. Cross-agency participation is encouraged when trails cross jurisdictional boundaries.

    A companion Field Guide and training curriculum provide the step-by-step guidance needed to carry out the methodology. Both the Field Guide and training emphasize the use of existing programs, skill sets, and data standards whenever possible with simple checklists and a standardized monitoring form to ensure consistency across agencies. BLM anticipates that the NSHT Methodology, Field Guide, and Training will be rolled out in early 2020.

  • Rawhide Solar Facility Permitting

    Logan Simpson worked with Platte River Power Authority to prepare a 1041 permit application for construction of a 30-MW solar generating facility at the site of the Rawhide Power Plant north of Fort Collins, Colorado.  The project included a survey of the site’s biological and cultural resources and other related investigations. Following hearings by the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners, the project was unanimously approved.

  • Desert Tortoise Surveys

    Logan Simpson conducted desert tortoise surveys and provide data and a final report to BLM for three BLM land parcels added to the Las Vegas Field Office. To comply with federal environmental laws, the LVFO tasked Logan Simpson with collecting endangered species survey data. The 5,400 acres were surveyed according to BLM and USFWS standards and protocols. Tasks included performing a project assessment using the 2009 USFWS publication key to determine survey requirements for the project area, and submit a survey plan to LVFO for review, conducting surveys during the desert tortoise active season using 2009 USFWS published protocols, and finally providing LVFO with a final report and all survey data.

  • LiDAR Cultural Resources and Environmental Support

    Rocky Mountain Power uses Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data collected from helicopter flights to measure minimum ground clearance, structural loads, wire sag, and wire tension along their existing electric transmission line network. Lines that pose a safety hazard are then repaired. Many of the lines pre-date environmental and cultural resources regulations such as NEPA, ESA, or NHPA. Logan Simpson helped Rocky Mountain Power navigate relevant regulations while ensuring that construction schedules were not impacted by unexpected environmental or cultural resources issues. Specific tasks included interfacing with federal and state agencies; large-scale literature reviews and due diligence studies to identify potential conflicts; GIS-based mapping, modeling, and database preparation; cultural resources inventories, site recording, and monitoring; and biological tasks like avian surveys, plant surveys, revegetation, and monitoring construction buffers for threatened and endangered species. We also identified construction access roads onto the right-of-way and facilitated the resolution of potential logistical issues that could impede construction.

  • 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.

  • Canyon Lake Main Channel Maintenance Activities

    The Salt River Project of Arizona proposed lowering the water level of Canyon Lake to conduct inspections and maintenance of structures, equipment, and hydroelectric facilities within the reservoir. Logan Simpson’s Clean Water Act permitting specialists prepared a CWA Section 404 individual permit and biological evaluation to allow dredging of approximately two miles of the Salt River bottom to remove sediment and debris that had built up in the Salt River channel and at water recycling intake structures. The dredging was timed to coincide with the lowering of the Canyon Lake water surface to allow routine maintenance of the Horse Mesa Dam. Logan Simpson conducted bald eagle surveys and coordinated with the USFWS and Tonto National Forest on potential impacts to threatened, endangered, and sensitive species of plants and wildlife. We also prepared conservation strategies and mitigation measures that were accepted by the USFWS and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

  • 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.

  • US 60 Gonzales Pass

    As a landscape architecture firm, Logan Simpson has a long history of designing highly sustainable, context-sensitive transportation projects. This award-winning project involved widening approximately 10 miles of US 60 near Superior, Arizona to four lanes. Logan Simpson inventoried more than 35,000 native plants and developed revegetation plans incorporating salvaged trees, various cacti, and a native seed mix. Discussions with the Tonto National Forest determined the appropriate density (and number) of replanted materials. The revegetation at Reymert Wash included planting of salvaged trees to satisfy mitigation requirements in the EA and the CWA Section 404 permit cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl habitat connectivity. Logan Simpson’s Arizona landscape architecture design staff also developed extensive contour grading plans for the cut slopes and designed erosion/sediment control BMPs to meet NPDES requirements. The project earned a President’s Award (Best of Show) Valley Forward; an ADOT Partnering Award; and a Top 10 Project Award from Roads and Bridges Magazine.

  • 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).