Supporting the vitality of working lands for future generations, a healthy economy, and preservation of healthy soils and natural spaces.
Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops, and raising livestock. These working lands are essential to the livelihood of communities, economies, and ecosystems alike. There is a strong connection between farmland preservation, groundwater recharge, water quality, and wildlife habitat. These include rangelands with livestock and grazing operations; vineyards, cannabis cultivation,food and clothing production; and forests for timber operations. Collectively, these lands provide valuable ecosystem services and are also home to sensitive habitat for plant communities and wildlife as well as access to protected open spaces. WRA provides landowners with a suite of services to support landowner operations with environmental stewardship.
Some of WRA’s key services include:
- Biological Assessments and Technical Studies
- Conservation Easement and Williamson Act Consultation
- Groundwater Monitoring and Recharge
- Livestock Pond Design and Construction
- CEQA Documentation
- GIS & Spatial Services
- Regulatory Permitting & Compliance
- Habitat Restoration
- Conservation and Mitigation Assessments, Planning & Entitlement
- Resiliency Assessments & Planning
- Grazing, Invasive Species & Vegetation Management Plans
- Stormwater Prevention Pollution Plans (SWPPP) & Erosion Control Plans
- Long-term Management Plans
Ecologically-minded support for vineyard development
WRA provides biological studies and regulatory permitting services in support of vineyard and orchard development. Our biologists work closely with civil engineers to ensure that the final layouts appropriately setback from aquatic resources, minimize impacts to rare plants and sensitive vegetation, and avoid effects to sensitive wildlife and migratory corridors. Biological reports are specifically tailored to meet the standards of the Vineyard and Orchard Site Development Ordinance (VESCO) for Sonoma County and Erosion Control Plans for Napa County. Typically, inclusive in these studies are a combination of wetland and stream delineation, vegetation mapping, rare plant surveys, general wildlife assessments, and species-specific surveys.
Cannabis consultation services that balance permitting requirements with environment stewardship
WRA provides natural resource surveying and reporting necessary to meet county and state California Environmental Quality Act requirements for cannabis cultivation projects. WRA’s extensive experience with environmental policy and natural resource management makes us well-suited to provide prospective and existing cultivators meet their due diligence for site selection, grading, and installation and environmental permitting. WRA has a full suite of biologists, Lake and Streambed Alteration (LSA) and regional water board permit specialists, restoration specialists, and landscape architects that are intimately familiar with county codes and ordinances regarding agricultural activities. Download our cannabis services flyer here.
Leveraging technology to optimize land management planning
Many preserved lands require prescribed grazing as a management tool to promote healthy habitats for protected species, control invasive weeds, or reduce fire hazards. WRA has created the Carrying Capacity (Cowpacity) GIS model as a tool to help quantify optimal grazing regimes. For data inputs the Cowpacity model uses best available public data; forage production values are derived from data from the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO), and Residual Dry Matter (RDM) is generated from a combination of woody cover and slope topography. Additionally, the model applies Animal Unit Months (AUM) reductions based on cattle behavior by incorporating slope and distance from available water sources. The GIS Cowpacity model offers an efficient way to estimate carrying capacity and set stocking rates for managed rangelands. Download our Cowpacity poster here.
Hafner Vineyards Sausal Creek Streambank Repair
Sausel Creek, California
Stabilize an eroding streambank to retain safe vineyard operations, ensure natural habitat and species protection, and enhance critical habitat for steelhead.
WRA was retained by Munselle Civil Engineering to support a steambank stabilization along Sausal Creek in Sonoma County on the Hafner Vineyards property, a small family winery in Alexander Valley…
Identified and minimized impacts to special-status species while supporting bio-engineering solutions to maximize ecological uplift.
WRA conducted baseline biological studies including an aquatic resources inventory, biological resources assessment, and biological assessment. These studies supported permit applications with the resource agencies including the U.S. Army Corps…
Species and habitat disturbances were minimized and repair efforts ensured operations could resume and further damage would be prevented.
WRA’s work ensured that during construction, disturbance was minimized at the site, impacts to water quality was avoided, riparian areas were protected, and effects to sensitive species were minimized. Stabilization…
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