Monarch Butterfly Endangered Species Listing

By Rob Schell, WRA Senior Wildlife Biologist How does a wildlife biologist keep themselves occupied during nine months of working from home? Well for one, I have been listing backyard species, as you do. Something that I insist that all my staff do for every project site they visit, is also something that I have … Continue Reading »

California Regulatory Agencies Propose Updates to Bank Enabling Instrument Template

By Andrew Cawley, Mitigation Banking Specialist This month, the California Project Delivery Team (PDT), the interagency group which oversees statewide mitigation and conservation banking programs, is concluding the public comment period for the updated Bank Enabling Instrument (BEI) template. The BEI template is a document that outlines procedures for establishing mitigation and conservation banks within … Continue Reading »

Migratory Bird Treaty Act May No Longer Prohibit Incidental Take, But Don’t Forget State Regulations

By Patricia Valcarcel, Senior Biologist A final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 7, 2021, clearly stating there is no prohibition of incidental take (unintentional capture or killing) of birds under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). This rule is a final decision after several years of uncertainty regarding federal protections … Continue Reading »

Restoration Project Planning: Efficient CDFW Permitting with the HRE Act

By Erik Schmidt, Regulatory Permitting Specialist WRA expects to soon submit its first project application to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for regulatory review through the innovative Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act (HRE Act), an alternative approval process for small-scale habitat restoration activities. Many types of commonly proposed restoration work may be … Continue Reading »

Pema Lin, VP, People Operations Joins WRA

WRA, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Pema Lin as Vice President, People Operations. Pema has more than 15 years of experience in recruiting and human resources (HR) across a variety of industries. “I am happy to have Pema join our team,” said Geoff Smick, WRA Chief Executive Officer. “Not only is she … Continue Reading »

Devil’s Slide Coastal Trail Jubata Grass Removal

By Ariella Simke, Freelance Science Writer WRA is contracted by the San Mateo County Parks Department to eradicate the highly invasive species Jubata grass (Cortaderia jubata) from the sheer cliffs along the coastal bluffs of the Devil’s Slide Trail in Pacifica, California. Jubata grass is a tall, feathery plant that has quickly spread since first … Continue Reading »

WRA Announces New Landscape Restoration Company

WRA, Inc. is proud to announce the addition of WRA Landscape Restoration Inc. (Contractors State License Board #1068767, C-27), its newest subsidiary company offering a suite of landscape restoration services to our clients and project partners.  “The addition of a landscape restoration contracting company expands our capabilities to a full spectrum of restoration services to … Continue Reading »

Research article published on Merced River restoration co-authored by WRA senior geomorphologist

The international journal River Research and Applications recently published an article co-authored by WRA senior geomorphologist Virginia Mahacek. The article, titled “Opportunities and Challenges for Restoration of the Merced River through Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, USA”, is posted in a virtual edition of the journal. From the abstract: Successful river restoration requires understanding and … Continue Reading »

Steelhead Migration Restored in a Napa River Tributary with Removal of a Century-old Dam

A Look at the Upper York Creek Ecosystem and Aquatic Habitat Restoration Project By Erik Schmidt, Regulatory Permitting Specialist, WRA, Inc. Since 1997, the handful of steelhead hanging on in York Creek, part of a larger Central California Coast population group, have been federally listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. The National Marine … Continue Reading »