Wetland & Riparian Management

To meet the complex needs of wetlands and riparian areas, Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting employs multidisciplinary teams to wetland delineations, 404 Permitting, Riparian Proper Functioning Condition Assessments, Rosgen Channel Evaluations, fisheries habitat evaluations and stream flow duration assessments.

Ecological & Environmental Services

Working hand-in-hand with federal agencies, non-profit organizations and residential landowners, we have experience with a variety of lentic and lotic wetlands throughout the Rocky Mountain west including high elevation fens, large rivers on the eastern plains, grazed riparian systems in the intermountain west and flashy intermittent arroyos of the desert southwest.  We also provide erosion and sedimentation control services, ecological restoration, and a vast assortment of other services to suit the needs of your project.  We can assist you in any of the following areas:

Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting conducts wetland assessments using the FACWet methodology. FACWet (Functional Assessment of Colorado Wetlands) was developed in a collaborative effort involving Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State University, EcoMetrics, LLC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is primarily designed to address the regulatory community’s need for functional assessment in administration of the Clean Water Act in Colorado, including pre-project assessment, mitigation planning, and post-project evaluation. The Army Corps of Engineers requires the use of FACWet when applying for an Individual Permit – more specifically for projects that have at least a 0.50 acre impact.

FACWet is a weight-of-evidence approach based on Hydrogeomorphic theory. It is an information framework with an embedded rapid wetland assessment methodology intended to uncover agents impairing the ability of a wetland to function in a manner characteristic of its type. In routine application FACWet utilizes the best evidence available within a rapid assessment timeframe to develop and support variable ratings.

Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting conducts rapid quantitative assessments of wetland areas using the Stream Visual Assessment Protocol of the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The Stream Visual Assessment Protocol (SVAP) Version 2 is a national protocol that provides an initial evaluation of the overall condition of wadeable streams, their riparian zones and their instream habitats. The protocol is used to evaulate criteria for conservation planning, identify potential resource concerns and assess trends in stream and riparian conditions over time.  A healthy stream will look and function differently depending on its location or ecological setting. Impacted streams are assessed in relation to historic or potential conditions. Sites that are not impaired and represent the range of conditions that potentially exist for a particular stream are used for reference. Elements that affect a streams classification include channel condition, hydrologic alteration, bank condition, riparian areas, canopy (tree) cover, water appearance, pools, fish habitat, and more.

Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting conducts Wetland Delineations and 404 Permitting throughout Colorado and Wyoming in accordance with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (USACOE, 1987) and the Regional Supplements. Our interdisciplinary team will provide professional guidance throughout your permit process.

Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting conducts riparian Proper Functioning Condition Assessments per Bureau of Land Management Technical Report 1737 (BLM TR 1737) methods in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada, typically for government agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management or the Natural Resource Conservation Service.  The Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) Assessment is a qualitative methodology that can be used to evaluate the functional condition of lentic and lotic wetlands with regard to hydrology, vegetation, sedimentation and erosion.   Implemented by an interdisciplinary team, this methodology is an economical means of evaluating riparian condition and trend as well as the stressors to a riparian area.   The PFC assessment is effective for establishing baseline conditions, evaluating successional processes and prioritizing restoration treatments.   Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting has conducted PFC assessments on several hundred miles of waterways throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting provides Fisheries Habitat Assessments for waters throughout the Rocky Mountain West. These services include a detailed assessment of riparian conditions and an evaluation of critical habitat components such as canopy cover, the availability of woody debris, bank stability and the effect these factors have on shading of the water surface and on channel characteristics. Procedures are developed from the BLM Level III Aquatic Habitat Inventory and Monitoring Handbook 6720-1.

Blue Mountain Environmental conducts wetland and riparian Restoration throughout Colorado and Wyoming. As a registered Technical Service Provider with the National Resource Conservation Service the Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting Team can provide Wetland Creation (658), Wetland Enhancement (659), and Wetland Restoration (657) services.

Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting provides Rosgen Channel Evaluations. Using the Rosgen Channel Classification system, we can describe stream characteristics and use the information to complement our other environmental planning services.