Biological Resources and Wetlands Surveys
Once access to a parcel is received from the landowner, via the Right of Entry agreement, surveys will be conducted by project biologists to identify the presence of threatened, endangered, and other sensitive species and their habitat and to map the boundaries of wetlands. Surveys could include rare plant species, rare bird species, rare mammals, bats, and insects. Because different species require specific survey protocols, work could occur throughout the day and could require multiple entries. Crews will take photographs, collect data points using handheld global positioning system equipment, and may collect samples of vegetation for detailed analysis later in the lab. Hydrology will be determined through visual observations of surface conditions such as surface water, evidence of recent flow, or water-deposited debris. To evaluate soil conditions, wetland survey crews will hand dig 12-18 inches deep test pits where the soil will be investigated for signs of hydric soils. Test pits will be refilled before leaving the study area.