Wetland Science

As a core component of our business, Rocky Mountain Environmental (RMEA) provides a host of services related to Wetland Assessments and Delineations, Permit Applications, Wetland Restoration & Mitigation, Pond Design & Stream Restoration, Inventories Analyses, Physical Analyses, Natural Factors Analyses, Landscape Architecture, and Violation Resolution.

Wetland Assessments and Delineations
RMEA has nearly 20 years experience performing wetland delineations and assessments throughout the Intermountain West (Idaho, Utah, Western Wyoming). Delineations are performed in accordance with standards set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the official 1987 Corps Manual and the various supplements to that manual. Data are collected regarding plants, soils, and site hydrology, and based on the data collected and general site observations, a decision is made regarding the extent of federally regulated wetlands on a project site. A wetland-upland boundary is then flagged in the field to precisely identify the extent of wetlands regulated by the Corps of Engineers. Sites containing open water or saturated ground indicate the presence of wetlands, but not every wetland is federally regulated. RMEA stays informed on complex changes in regulatory guidance that both limit and extend federal wetland regulation. Wetland assessments are typically less extensive and less expensive than wetland delineations. An assessment will provide an understanding of the character of a site so that informed decisions may be made regarding land-use.
Permit Applications
RMEA has prepared permit applications to federal, state, and local agencies for work on environmentally sensitive sites. Most often these applications are submitted to the Corps of Engineers for filling wetlands and to Idaho Department of Water Resources for work in the channels of rivers, streams, and creeks. RMEA has also appeared before the Teton County (both Idaho and Wyoming) and Blaine County, Idaho, Planning Boards to facilitate permitting in these jurisdictions. RMEA will prepare applications and assemble all supporting documents necessary for project approval. This may include delineations, impact assessments, alternative analyses, design drawings, mitigation and monitoring plans. Most important, RMEA has the expertise to assist in designing projects that meets our clients’ needs while reducing regulatory burdens. Often these simple design changes can mean the difference between an easily approved project and one that is subject to more exacting review.
Wetland Restoration & Mitigation
Wetland restoration projects may be undertaken for the inherent value of improving a wetland ecosystem, but most often wetland restoration, creation, or enhancement is done to compensate for wetland losses resulting from issuance of a federal permit to fill wetlands. RMEA has designed numerous wetland creation, restoration, and enhancement projects throughout the Intermountain West. RMEA can assist with feasibility studies, project design, site grading, plant selection, and habitat restoration. The Corps of Engineers may require the submission of a comprehensive Mitigation and Monitoring report prior to issuing a permit. RMEA has successfully prepared and submitted these reports to Corps regulatory offices in the Intermountain West.
Pond Design & Stream Restoration
Scenic open water has always been valued as a site amenity, and typically a healthy pond, stream, or creek that is pleasing to people also has high value for fish, waterfowl, and wildlife. RMEA has done pond design and permitting specifically for habitat improvement and specifically for landscape design. We strive, however, to accomplish multiple goals in any pond project: to provide both habitat opportunities and an aesthetically pleasing amenity. Reclaiming rivers and streams that have been degraded by either agricultural or industrial activities has become an increasingly important endeavor in recent times. Our experienced staff often teams with qualified professionals to provide the best solution for each project site. We have developed and employed an analysis/design methodology that facilitates permitting of stream/fishery habitat restoration projects.
Inventories Analyses
  • Physical Analyses
  • Natural Factors Analyses
  • Wildlife Habitat Inventories

Local planning authorities have been requiring wildlife habit assessments as residential development encroaches and fragments wildlife habitat. RMEA has performed site evaluations for wildlife utilization by big game unglulates, large carnivores, furbearers, and avian wildlife. Reports typically include measures to mitigate and enhance habitat opportunities as a result of specific development proposals. We recommend that these assessments be performed before any major commitment is made on site development plans. The most easily approved plans are those that respond to local planning goals and ordinances for wildlife protection. Some localities are requesting more comprehensive inventories of physical and natural factors site rather than just an assessment of habit opportunities. The goal is to make land-use decisions that respond to site conditions rather than dominate or obliterate the natural character of a project site. Following the principles of the legendary Ian McHarg, RMEA will prepare comprehensive site inventories describing geology, hydrology, topography, soils, vegetation, and wildlife. Based on this analysis, recommendations will be made regarding site opportunities and constraints to promote site development that is a marriage of nature and human use.

Landscape Architecture
In concordance with a planning philosophy derived from a respect for physical and natural site factors, RMEA offers landscape architectural services that promote the enhancement of both our natural environment and the outdoor spaces that we occupy. This is accomplished by use of native and naturalized plant species and materials (fencing, stone, paving) appropriate to specific project sites. Good landscape architecture respects cultural values and context as well as the natural environment.
Violation Resolution
Today’s environmental laws and regulations are extensive, complex, and often confusing for the ordinary person. Even with the best of intentions, it is possible to violate federal or state regulations. RMEA has the experience to mediate violation cases to bring about the best outcome possible for all parties.

208-524-2353

Rocky Mountain Environmental Associates 482 Constitution Way,
Suite 303
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402

FAX: 208-524-1795

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