Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program 2006 Report

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The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program (EMAC), funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO), monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by National Security Technologies LLC (NSTec) during the Calendar Year 2006. Program activities included: (a) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (b) desert tortoise compliance, (c) ecosystem mapping and data management, (d) sensitive plant species monitoring, (e) sensitive and protected/regulated animal monitoring, (f) habitat monitoring, (g) habitat restoration monitoring, and (h) ... continued below

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Anderson, David C.; Greger, Paul D.; Hall, Derek B.; Hansen, Dennis J. & Ostler, William K. March 1, 2007.

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Description

The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program (EMAC), funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO), monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by National Security Technologies LLC (NSTec) during the Calendar Year 2006. Program activities included: (a) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (b) desert tortoise compliance, (c) ecosystem mapping and data management, (d) sensitive plant species monitoring, (e) sensitive and protected/regulated animal monitoring, (f) habitat monitoring, (g) habitat restoration monitoring, and (h) monitoring of the Nonproliferation Test and Evaluation Complex (NPTEC). Sensitive and protected/regulated species of the NTS include 44 plants, 1 mollusk, 2 reptiles, over 250 birds, and 26 mammals protected, managed, or considered sensitive as per state or federal regulations and natural resource agencies and organizations. The threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is the only species on the NTS protected under the Endangered Species Act. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive and protected/regulated species and important biological resources on which they depend were conducted for 34 projects. A total of 342.1 hectares (ha) (845.37 acres [ac]) was surveyed for these projects. Sensitive and protected/regulated species and important biological resources found included: 2 inactive tortoise burrows, 2 western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), several horses (Equus caballus), 2 active predator burrows, mature Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia), yuccas and cacti; and also 1 bird nest (2 eggs), 1 barn owl (Tyto alba) and 2 great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus). NSTec provided a written summary report of all survey findings and mitigation recommendations, where applicable. All flagged burrows were avoided during construction activities. Twenty one of the 34 projects had sites within the distribution range of the threatened desert tortoise. NNSA/NSO must comply with the terms and conditions of a permit (called a Biological Opinion) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) when conducting work in tortoise habitat. No tortoises were found in or displaced from project areas. No desert tortoises were accidentally injured or killed, nor were any captured or displaced from project sites. One desert tortoise was accidentally killed along a paved road. One site specific re-vegetation plan was submitted this year as required by the desert tortoise habitat re-vegetation plan approved in 2004. This year a total of 1.89 ha (4.69 ac) of tortoise habitat was disturbed. Re-vegetation of habitat at the Bren Tower burn was completed in the spring of 2006. In the summer of 2006, NSTec scientists prepared a Biological Assessment of the security activities that were being conducted at the Device Assembly Facility (DAF). NNSA requested a Biological Opinion from FWS in late 2006. Ecosystem mapping and data management in 2006 focused primarily on two tasks: (a) converting hardcopies of about 17 reports (EMAC annual reports and selected topical reports from 1996 to 2003) into electronic versions (Portable Document Format [PDF] files) to facilitate electronic document exchange, rapid retrieval, duplication, and printing, and (b) conducting an annual vegetation survey to determine wildland fire hazards on the NTS. Copies of the PDF documents were sent to DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information website in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) Public Reading Facility.

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  • Report No.: DOE/NV/25946--174
  • Grant Number: DE-AC52-06NA25946
  • DOI: 10.2172/903001 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 903001
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc878011

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  • March 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 8:31 p.m.

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Anderson, David C.; Greger, Paul D.; Hall, Derek B.; Hansen, Dennis J. & Ostler, William K. Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program 2006 Report, report, March 1, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc878011/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.