Graham Environmental Services
Wetland DelineationGES offers wetland delineation services backed by years of field experience with federal wetland delineation methodologies.
We understand how to read the landscape and have years of experience making sense of disturbed wetlands.
Through past job experience with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and in private consulting, GES understands the perspectives from both sides of the wetland boundary. A crucial aspect of wetland delineation is a strong understanding of wetland regulations. This can mean the difference as to whether or not a specific site is determined to be jurisdictional wetland.
You can rest assured that GES has this understanding and also have the peace of mind that your delineation is being managed by a Professional Wetland Scientist certified by the Society of Wetland Scientists.
Regulatory AssistanceAll gnarled up in wetland regulations?
One of the more complicated issues associated with wetland development projects and wetland banking is the regulatory process. Critical to project success is a thorough knowledge of federal, state and local rules which must be adhered to in order to comply with current laws and to ensure maximum credit for wetland banking projects. GES staff have a thorough knowledge of federal Section 404 Clean Water Act regulations, the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act, Minnesota DNR Protected Waters regulations, Wisconsin Chapter 30, Wisconsin NR103 Wetland Water Quality Standards, Wisconsin NR350 Wetland Mitigation Rules, NR151 Runoff Management Rules, Wisconsin Act 6 and local ordinances which may apply to certain projects. We pride ourselves on an ability to balance project needs with regulatory requirements for "win-win" solutions.
Wetland Mitigation/Wetland Banking Design and Planning
Watertown, MN Wetland Restoration Project
GES staff experience includes the design, development and regeneration plan implementation of many highly successful wetland mitigation and banking projects. Wetland restoration projects succeed only through a thorough understanding of natural processes and from taking advantage of past experience. The process begins with site reconnaissance to determine the feasibility of restoration. It then proceeds to preliminary planning, final planning, implementation, construction monitoring and post-construction monitoring. GES maintains professional relationships with experts in other related fields (i.e. engineering and surveying) who can be brought into the project for assistance if necessary.
GES Inc. is the account manager of the Bachman wetland Bank near Farmington, Minnesota.
Click here to view a brochure for the Bachman Wetland Bank.
Wetland and Native Landscape Restoration ServicesGES, Inc. staff have provided planning and regulatory assistance for scores of wetland and native buffer restoration projects over the past 14+ years. Recently, GES has also provided site preparation, planting, seeding, and management/maintenance services for habitat restoration projects.
GES staff are familiar with native habitats of the Upper Midwest and have prepared and implemented plans for restoring wetlands of many types, including wet meadows, marshes and floodplain forests. We have also prepared and implemented plans for various types of upland buffer restoration areas, including oak savanna and native prairie.
Wetland Functions and Values AssessmentsMore and more, the analysis of wetland functions and values is becoming the centerpiece of wetland permitting decisions, wetland inventories and as a predictive tool when designing wetland restoration projects. GES has practical experience in the application of several methods including the Minnesota Rapid Assessment Method and the Wisconsin Rapid Assessment Method. These tools can be used to gain a greater understanding of the quality of existing wetlands compared to the predicted quality of replacement wetlands.
Threatened and Endangered Species Regulatory Assistance Habitat Assessment, and SurveysOften projects require the identification and analysis of habitats for the presence of State or Federally Threatened, Endangered, or Sensitive species. GES has performed a wide variety of surveys for threatened and endangered species on projects throughout the west and mid-west. We have a broad-range of experience in conducting surveys for various species of birds, butterflies, reptiles, plants, and animals. We have practical experience in conducting searches for raptor nests, call/response surveys, auditory songbird surveys, and various reptile searches. In addition GES has conducted rare plant surveys and butterfly surveys in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. We have provided presence/absence and baseline habitat data to clients for over 500 endangered and threatened species in the Chequamegon, Chippewa, Hiawatha, Nicolet, Mark Twain, Ottawa, and Superior National Forests. GES has additional training in HCP Effectiveness Monitoring for the Federally Endangered Karner Blue Butterfly, various botanical courses that focus on taxonomy, identification, and ecology of Midwestern species.
Natural Community Habitat and Assessment and Management PlansGES staff includes biologists with experience in identifying and classifying natural communities throughout the Midwest. We have applied our knowledge of natural plant community classification methodologies and utilized GPS and GIS technologies to create working preservation plans, identify potential greenway corridors, and to develop wetland ordinances or natural community management plans. GES has applied natural community classification techniques on projects in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Utilizing our knowledge of natural communities and existing technologies has saved money, time, and avoided potential project ending problems for pipeline companies, municipalities, power line corridors, along road rights-of-way, and on small development sites.
Botanical Habitat Assessment and SurveysGES has experienced professionals with a working knowledge and expertise in plant identification, ecology, and numerous survey methods. We have successfully conducted surveys on pristine and disturbed sites throughout the Midwest. Our broad-based knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Midwest and our application of GIS and GPS technologies has contributed to significant cost savings on several large projects in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Bird, Animal, and Butterfly Habitat Assessment and SurveysEmployees at GES have over 16 years of experience in conducting habitat assessments and surveying for a wide range of birds, animals, and butterflies utilizing numerous survey methods. We have conducted auditory point counts to compile avian communities, transect point counts for avian species, call/response surveys for forest dwelling raptors, helicopter surveys for eagle nests, observation surveys for Blanding’s turtles, transect surveys for butterflies, and a variety of other methods for sensitive species such as Loggerhead Shrike, Red-shouldered Hawks, Wood Turtle, Four-toed Salamanders, Dakota Skipper, and Poweshiek Skipperling. Our broad-based knowledge and our application of GIS and GPS technologies has contributed to avoiding costly permitting problems prior to construction of linear corridor projects and private developments on several projects in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Environmental DocumentationGES is experienced in managing Environmental Assessment Worksheets and natural resource portions of Environmental Impact Statements. One of the more critical aspects of managing such projects is adhering to project schedules and communicating with team members. GES takes great pride in our ability to organize and manage the project team while maintaining communication with regulatory officials so that the process goes smoothly without any last-minute surprises.
Enforcement ActionsWhen wetlands are mistakenly impacted, our real-life experience takes the confusion and stress out of "after-the-fact" regulatory enforcement actions. We assess the facts, bring the parties together and resolve the situation in an expeditious and cost-effective manner. GES understands the regulations and the science critical to solving these often complicated situations.
Construction MonitoringAll of the work and planning that goes into permit acquisition or a restoration plan can be wasted if the approved plans are not followed in the field. This applies to both permitted wetland filling and to the construction of replacement wetlands and wetland banks. Our in-the-field experience is critical during project implementation where the last thing anyone wants is to mistakenly fill wetland that was not included in the approved permit or approval. This can lead to complicated enforcement actions and time delays. Having GES in the field to review permitted wetland fill areas is a cost-effective way of avoiding such headaches.
Equally important is ensuring that wetland restoration plans are followed during construction and that adjustments are made in the field to ensure successful wetland establishment. Any wetland replacement plan, no matter how well conceived, may require modification when implemented in the field. A GES wetland scientist on-site during wetland construction is highly recommended to avoid the possibility of having to take future corrective measures if the replacement wetland does not become properly established.
Post-Construction MonitoringAlmost any permit which requires wetland replacement will also require monitoring reports (usually annually for a few years following construction) to evaluate the success of the constructed/restored wetland mitigation or bank area. GES has years of experience in producing thorough, accurate and objective monitoring reports.
Minnetrista, MN Wetland Restoration Site