Cost-Effective, Ecologically Based Environmental Solutions
Central Utah Project. The Central Utah Project (CUP) was authorized by Congress to complete 3 main water resource development units (new reservoirs, pipelines, new hydropower, increases in irrigated acres), their mitigation requirements, and old mitigation requirements from the 1960's from the first 2 units. The project area encompassed portions of three states (UT, CO, WY) and five river systems. This project was supported by all stakeholders due to its win-win combination of elements. Leslie Gecy of EcoWest was the Technical Coordinator for one of the three main units of the CUP, responsible for maintaining the “win-win” approach through oversight of baseline data collection and impact analysis for 17 resource areas, associated permitting and mitigation. Also responsible for coordination with the other development units, multiple federal, state and local agencies and preparing the project Environmental Impact Statement. Ms Gecy also prepared a three-state, project-wide Biological Assessment. No effect or not likely to adversely affect determinations were made for all projects ensuring Endangered Species Act compliance.
EcoWest also helped develop one of the first methods used to evaluate riparian-wetland flow relationships, and used it to address how flow changes would affect the listed Ute ladies’-tresses orchid. We also completed analyses, permitting and/or mitigation plans for a number of the CUP mitigation projects, including restoration of 15 miles of streams on USFS-managed land, development of watershed-wide multiple species conservation plans, construction of two fish hatcheries, and an analysis of watershed management, including the Flaming Gorge Dam and reservoir re-operation, on both listed plant and fish species.
Project Status: Projects within all three water development units have been permitted and constructed. Mitigation, including restoring both natural flows to streams and fish habitat, has been implemented .
Various Agricultural Confidential Clients. EcoWest has worked on numerous agricultural projects as part of a team to develop new water storage and irrigation systems on several large agricultural properties. These projects have required delineating wetlands, separating natural from irrigation-induced wetlands, clarifying the jurisdictional status of ditches and other waterways, coordinating with the myriad of agencies that may be involved in reservoir projects (NRCS, Army Corps of Engineers, State agencies) and obtaining wetland permits. In addition, EcoWest has helped determine the most cost-effective approach, which typically corresponds with the approach that avoids or minimizes impacts natural wetlands to the greatest degree.
Project Status: Agencies have agreed with all delineations and jurisdictional identifications. Projects are proceeding and in various stages of construction.