Wildlife & Fisheries
We specialize in federal and state Endangered Species Act issues and environmental protection laws (NEPA/CEQA), having formerly negotiated discharge-permitting processes with the CA Water Resources Control Board, engaged the Bay-Delta Stewardship Council on ecosystem sustainability and improved water supply reliability, developed habitat conservation plans, and served on recovery teams for northern spotted owl, Coho salmon, and red-legged frog.
Our leadership has helped develop some of the most comprehensive policies to address wildlife and fisheries conservation in effect today, and assisted clients in designing projects to avoid conflicts with them. Our experts have first-hand experience with spotted owls, Coho salmon, Pacific fishers, red-legged frogs and other high-profile species, and have helped advance projects in areas where multiple sensitive species are present.
Navigating Wildlife and Fisheries Issues
Our experts have extensive experience addressing the labyrinth of state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and regulations that can excessively delay implementation of your project. Our multi-disciplinary focus on ecosystem health, sustainability and building broad coalitions that include the business and environmental communities has proven to be a winning combination. We understand it is possible to conserve habitat and provide human benefit, and what it takes to do so.
As a then-member of the U.S. Forest Service, INRM founder Mark Rentz participated in developing the Northwest Forest Plan, collaborating with the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. EPA and others to establish the first multi-species plan to promote ecosystem management on federal lands. He also helped develop the California spotted owl management plan, which avoided listing the California spotted owl under the federal Endangered Species Act – a success that has withstood numerous legal challenges over the past two decades.
Our unique perspective can help avoid planning pitfalls that can subject projects to ESA or NEPA/CEQA challenges. We also are intimately familiar with the Clean Water Act and its requirements for aquatic species protections. We have helped private landowners develop habitat conservation plans for aquatic and terrestrial species, public agencies advance water supply reliability efforts, and community groups improve resource conservation in areas home to sensitive species. Our strategic approaches are designed to provide efficient and timely project implementation while creating the long-term relationships to effectively adapt to unforeseen changing circumstances.
Shaping Policy, Advancing Sustainable Management
With policy making and on-the-ground management experience with a wide range land-use issues, INRM experts have:
- Represented forestland owners before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Fish and Game Commission, National Marine Fishers Service and other entities proposing listing species under state and federal ESAs
- Managed the Coho and Steelhead Restoration Coalition, a collaboration between forestry, agriculture, ranching, water agencies and local government to develop an integrated strategy for California salmon and steelhead populations listed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (Department of Commerce).
- Testified before federal wildlife and fisheries agencies, federal lands management agencies and Congress on wildlife and fisheries issues affecting timber supply from federal lands.
- Facilitated the ESA Implementation Roundtable, a collaborative effort involving water agencies, industry, local government and conservation organizations that provided the Dept. of Interior (Obama Administration) input on incentive-based strategies to advance habitat protection and restoration to pre-empt species listings under the federal ESA
- Served on a national ESA reform coalition that advocated for proactive, incentivebased approaches for ESA implementation
- Participated on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ Red-Legged Frog Public Recovery Advisory Committee and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Coho Salmon Advisory Committee
- Developed resource management plans, including timber sales and forest health improvements projects that address wildlife and aquatic species habitat
The common theme in advancing projects with potential environmental impacts is leveraging experience in legislative and policy circles, building coalitions focused on positive outcomes, and saving clients money. It is our unique combination of in-depth expertise and broad-based experience that enables INRM to develop integrated solutions that conserve resources, provide economic advantages and pave the way for long-term success.