Biological Evaluation /Biological Assessment
Pursuant to National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), RCI completed a Biological Evaluation and Assessment (BE/BA) for the Vista Towers Communications project located on two sites in Mono County, California and one site in Douglas County, Nevada. The BE/BA was prepared in order to assess potential effects to federally listed threatened, endangered, or proposed species and U.S. Forest Service listed sensitive species.
Multiple Agency Coordination
RCI consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nevada Natural Heritage Program, the California Natural Diversity Database, California Department of Wildlife, and the U.S. Forest Service Intermountain Region (Region Four) to identify listed species with potential to occur within the project area.
Analyzed Direct & Indirect Impacts
The proposed project areas were surveyed during the growing season for sensitive plant species and potential wildlife habitat. The survey areas included the tower sites, proposed and existing access roads and proposed utility line corridors. The final BE/BA analyzed direct and indirect impacts to listed species based on the proposed project description. As field surveys indicated potential impacts to the greater sage grouse, the proposed project was revised to include mitigation measures to minimize impacts. The BE/BA was prepared in accordance with Forest Service Manual direction and Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (1973), as amended.
Specialist Report Prepared
RCI also completed a Specialist Report at the request of the U.S. Forest Service, Bridgeport Range District. The report identifies potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts from activities described under the Proposed Action Alternative and No Action Alternative for the Vista Towers Communication Project. Species analyzed in this report include Toiyabe National Forest Management Indicator Species, State listed Threatened and Endangered species, and Migratory Bird Species.