This week I was assigned as team lead on a project that entails habitat restoration for the federally endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher.
My job on this project is to determine, using the NEPA handbook, that the project proposed by the Bureau of Land Management falls under the Categorical Exclusion guidelines. The job also entails working closely with the specialists from the field office to coordinate a visit to the site to verify that there will not be any threats to the landscape, culture, history, and ecosystem. The purpose of this project is to enhance the establishment, growth, spread, and survival of the coyote willow. Currently, many patches of willow habitat on the property have become decadent from age, drought conditions, and a lack of disturbance, therefore habitat restoration is much needed in order to provide feasible habitat for the flycatcher. The project is to take place outside the breeding season to avoid impacts on the species during nesting. Due to this area being designated as critical habitat for the federally endangered flycatcher, which depends on dense willow habitat for breeding, the goal is not only to improve riparian vegetative conditions but also to improve the habitat condition and spatial arrangement of willow for this endangered species. For further information or questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]