Ecological Restoration

Services

Native Re-vegetation

 

Fred Phillips Consulting believes strongly in the power of restored, native landscapes. This ethic informs every design project the firm undertakes.

 

Exotic plant species have altered ecosystems and traditional ways of life, slowly destroying our native landscapes.  We seek to reverse this trend. In the American southwest, slowly but surely, abandoned agricultural fields and thickets of insidious exotic plants are being replaced by native mesquite bosques, galleries of cottonwood and willow, meadows and grasslands, and native desert uplands.

 

Wetlands form a major part of our work: They are the ultimate biological carbon sinks. As weltands are subject to rigorous governmental regulation, our past experience has led us through the myriad complexities involved in wetland restoration, from navigating through the permitting process to performing the necessary biological and physical resource assessments. We work with the best and the brightest in the field, people who are committed to making a positive improvement to our world. We also cultivate local stewardship by involving the local community throughout the process.

 

We can proudly boast that the Yuma clapper rail (Rallus longirostris yumanensis), yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), Yuma hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus eremicus), and California leaf-nosed bat (Macrotus californicus)—all endangered or threatened species—now reside in wetlands and landscapes designed, built, and managed by our team. More recently, we have designed habitat for the northern Aplomado falcon (Falco femoralis), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), jaguarundai (Puma yagouaroundi), Little Colorado spinedace (Lepidomeda vittata), New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus), Chiricahua leopard frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis).

 

Restoring native habitat increases biodiversity, improves ecosystem health, and provides critical habitat for native species threatened by extinction. We have restored more than 17 million acres of native plant communities and have had the honor of helping to restore habitat for a number of endangered species. Native plant revegetation is a critical step towards healing the environment and a planting a beautiful, living legacy for the future.

 

Site Analysis

 

Our site analysis work typically includes soil and biological assessments, which are always informed by site visits, species inventories, and comprehensive GIS mapping. For wetlands, analysis includes wetland delineations, soil surveys, biological assessments, and preliminary topographical and water-availability analysis.

 

Project Management

 

Project management for restoration projects includes observation, oversight, budgeting, fundraising, public facilitation, mapping, planting design, biological monitoring, and maintenance. Community outreach includes public scoping, volunteer program development, and environmental educational program development and implementation. The firm always welcomes the chance to conduct workshops to further stakeholder, volunteer, and public knowledge on ecological restoration.

 

Habitat Design and Planning

 

Designing with sensitivity to ecological needs is instinctive for our firm. Using restoration principles and specific planting palettes, we have designed and constructed rain gardens and pollinator gardens. On a larger scale, the firm has done watershed planning projects in Bangka, Indonesia and Mexico. The range of our completed restoration plans include the Virgin, Verde, Colorado, Rio Grande, Gila, and Salt river corridors.

 

Mitigation Bank Development

 

Fred Phillips Consulting has assisted with establishing successful banks and permitting mitigation in Arizona and Texas. The firm continually develops functional assessment methods for the restoration of ephemeral streams in Arizona. We can provide turnkey planning, design, and implementation for projects involving mitigation banks.

 

Biological Assessment and Ecological Research and Monitoring

 

Project monitoring plans form a large part of our firm’s work. This includes evaluating vegetation growth rates and cover, assessing wildlife community recovery, and determining restoration project success. We conduct biological community research through avian, herpetofaunal, invertebrate, and mammalian monitoring and endangered species surveys. We design vegetation monitoring plans that are tailored to each project context. Finally, our firm employs certified and permitted biologists to conduct endangered species surveys using the most updated protocols from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department.

We have been fortunate to employ these skills in the service of not only agencies and non-profits, but also Native American tribes. Fred Phillips Consulting has completed surveys for more than half a million acres of rangeland vegetation for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This helped the tribes establish criteria for increasing and restoring rangeland health. Our firm was the lead consultant in planning stakeholder consensus for a 16 acre weed management plan for the Navajo nation.

 

In summary, our firm offers the following biological assessment and monitoring services:

 

  • Area searches
  • Variable circular counts
  • Transects and point counts (for resident and migrating bird species)
  • Small mammal trapping
  • Herpetofaunal pit trap and fencing arrays
  • Pit traps and malaise traps
  • Black lighting
  • Sweep nets and kick nets
  • Hess sampling for terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates
  • Land transects
  • Nested plots
  • Cover quadrats
  • Total vegetation volume (TVV) calculations
  • Point intercept calculations