Wetland Regulations—Moving towards State Control

Recent news accounts on changes in the federal definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) have been matched with the California State Water Resources Control Board’s announcement that a new State Wetland Policy will be in effect starting on May 28, 2020.   These changes reflect the shifting dynamic in environmental regulation—at least temporarily—under the … Continue Reading »

SMHM Paper Published in The Journal of Wildlife Management

WRA’s Katie Smith, one of the leading authorities on the ecology of the salt marsh harvest mouse (SMHM), is lead author of the article “Waterfowl management and diet of the salt marsh harvest mouse” recently published in The Journal of Wildlife Management.   Although their diet is not well understood, SMHM is thought to feed primarily … Continue Reading »

WRA to present at the 2019 State of the Estuary Conference

WRA experts will take part in the 2019 State of the Estuary (SOE) Conference, hosted by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland, October 21-22, 2019. See the full program here.  This year, WRA wildlife biologist Katie Smith will present “Mice in the Middle: The Special Case of Terrestrial Wildlife … Continue Reading »

Final Rules Published on Major Changes to the Endangered Species Act

Series 1: Interagency Cooperation (Section 7) By Patricia Valcarcel, Senior Biologist and ESA Specialist On July 25, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries (collectively, Services) published three proposed revisions to Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulations. On August 27, 2019, the Services published the final rules on … Continue Reading »

New research: a case study with lead and waterfowl on the Texas coast

Brian Kearns, a biologist with WRA, Inc., is first author of a recently published study resulting from his doctoral work focused on the magnitude and distribution of lead contamination on the Texas coast, and how it impacts endemic avian wildlife. The study,  “Distribution of contaminants in the environment and wildlife habitat use: a case study … Continue Reading »

WRA’s SMHM Expert Katie Smith in “The Edge of Extinction”

WRA’s Katie Smith is featured in a new series highlighting endangered species in the Berkeley area. The second of a five-part Edge Of Extinction video series focuses on salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris), endemic to the San Francisco Bay Area salt marsh habitat. Katie is regarded as one of the leading authorities on the … Continue Reading »

The Benefits of Public-Private Collaboration for Land Preservation

The Tri-Valley area in Alameda County is a vibrant Bay Area suburb that encompasses the cities of Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton. The region, marked by rolling hills and sprawling residential developments, is experiencing rapid growth. The area’s open spaces and grazing lands support sensitive species and habitats, including federal and state-listed species, but currently lacks … Continue Reading »

WRA Welcomes Senior Open Space Planner John Baas

John Baas, PhD, joins WRA, Inc. as a Senior Open Space Planner and leader for the company’s public access team. With 20 years of experience in environmental consulting, John brings expertise in park and open space planning, as well as large scale planning efforts for wildfire hazard reduction in California, Washington and Colorado. “I have … Continue Reading »

WRA Attends Society of Wetland Scientists Annual Meeting 2019

WRA team members Amanda McCarthy, Kari Dupler, and Katie Smith attended the Society of Wetland Scientists Annual Meeting May 28-31, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. This year’s theme was “The Role of Wetlands in Meeting Global Environmental Challenges: Linking Wetland Science, Policy, and Society.” The annual gathering brings together scientists, policymakers, and practitioners to share knowledge … Continue Reading »

Moorhen Marsh Re-Opening

The Mt. View Sanitary District (MVSD) hosted a public re-opening celebration of Moorhen Marsh on Saturday, May 11, 2019 in Martinez. This family-friendly event featured Master of Ceremonies Doug McConnell, host of OpenRoad with Doug McConnell! and educational wildlife programs including bird walks, dip-netting for children, and live animal presentations. Originally constructed in 1974, the … Continue Reading »