Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program Fiscal Year 2000 Report

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The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, monitors the ecosystem of he Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by Bechtel Nevada during fiscal year 2000. Program activities included: (1) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (2) desert tortoise compliance,(3) ecosystem mapping, (4) sensitive species and unique habitat monitoring, and (5) biological monitoring at the HAZMAT Spill Center. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive species were conducted for 24 NTS projects. Seventeen sites were in ... continued below

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Wills, C.A. December 1, 2000.

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Description

The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, monitors the ecosystem of he Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by Bechtel Nevada during fiscal year 2000. Program activities included: (1) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (2) desert tortoise compliance,(3) ecosystem mapping, (4) sensitive species and unique habitat monitoring, and (5) biological monitoring at the HAZMAT Spill Center. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive species were conducted for 24 NTS projects. Seventeen sites were in desert tortoise habitat, and six acres of tortoise habitat were documented as being disturbed this year. No tortoises were found in or displaced from project areas, and no tortoises were accidentally injured or killed. A topical report describing the classification of habitat types o n the NTS was completed. The report is the culmination of three years of field vegetation mapping and the analysis of vegetation data from over 1,500 ecological landform units. A long-term monitoring plan for important plant species that occur on the NTS was completed. Sitewide inventories were conducted for the western burrowing owl, bat species of concern, wild horses, raptor nests, and mule deer. Fifty-nine of 69 known owl burrows were monitored. Forty-four of the known burrows are in disturbed habitat. As in previous years, some owls were present year round on the NTS. An overall decrease in active owl burrows was observed within all three ecoregions (Mojave Desert, Transition, Great Basin Desert) from October through January. An increase in active owl burrows was observed from mid-March to early April. A total of 45 juvenile owls was detected from eight breeding pairs. One nest burrow was detected in the Mojave Desert,one in the Great Basin Desert, and six in the Transition ecoregion. Seventy bats, representing four bat species of concern, were captured in mist-nets at water sources in the Great Basin Desert ecoregion. Bats were detected with the Anabat II call-recording system at selected tunnel and mine entrances verifying that some NTS mines and tunnels are used as bat roosts. Thirty-seven adult horses and 11 foals were counted this year. Four of the five foals observed last year have survived to yearlings. A monitoring plan for NTS horses was completed. Six active red-tailed hawk nests and 10 nestling red-tailed hawks were detected this year. Two spotlighting surveys for mule deer were conducted, each over three consecutive nights in October 1999 and August 2000. The mean sighting rate in October was 1.2 deer/10 kilometers (km) and 1.6 deer/10 km in August. Selected wetlands and man-made water sources were monitored for physical parameters and wildlife use. No dead animals were observed this year in any plastic-lined sump. Pahute Mesa Pond was confirmed to have vegetation,hydrology, and soil indicators that qualify the site as a jurisdictional wetland. The chemical spill test plan for one experiment at the HAZMAT Spill Center was reviewed for its potential to impact biota downwind of spills on Frenchman Lake playa.

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OSTI as DE00772469

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Dec 2000

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  • Report No.: DOE/NV/11718--484
  • Grant Number: AC08-96NV11718
  • DOI: 10.2172/772469 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 772469
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc715139

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Creation Date

  • December 1, 2000

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • Feb. 11, 2016, 9:17 p.m.

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Wills, C.A. Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program Fiscal Year 2000 Report, report, December 1, 2000; Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc715139/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.