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Upper Chiquita Canyon Habitat Conservation Area Restoration and Management, Orange County, California – Transportation Corridor Agencies

conservation soil mapping soil analysis revegetation drainage wetlands riparian Restoration Ecology

Land IQ is responsible for managing a 1,158-acre conservation easement in southern Orange County that supports important populations of California gnatcatchers and coastal cactus wrens. Land IQ staff conducted evaluations to identify restoration opportunities on approximately 500 acres of land disturbed by historic dry-land farming and grazing, and developed efficient restoration techniques for large-acreage areas of coastal sage scrub, native grassland, oak woodland habitats and rare plant species. Specific evaluations included:

  • Mapped soils, existing native habitats and exotic species infestations;
  • Conducted soil analysis and detailed soil characterization to determine appropriate restoration and future management;
  • Evaluated ephemeral drainages using the hydrogeomorphic method to assess riparian functions of the non-wetland drainages;
  • Conducted research for native grass restoration.

Based on the evaluations, Land IQ developed a habitat restoration plan that includes rationale, methods and performance standards for the comprehensive restoration of the Conservation Area. This plan was incorporated into the Comprehensive Resource Management Plan (RMP) that Land IQ recently updated. The updated RMP provides a flexible, long-term management plan that will serve as a blueprint for how the easement will be managed for habitat restoration. An interactive, web-based restoration management tool using GIS was also developed to enable the client to better manage biological resources and the restoration activities in the Conservation Area.

Management of this easement will be an ongoing project until the land becomes part of Orange County’s Southern Natural Communities Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan (NCCP/HCP) for the Southern Subregion.

Big Canyon Golf Course Wetland Restoration

wetlands restoration habitat monitoring Restoration Ecology

The Big Canyon Golf Course wetland restoration involves the creation and enhancement of riparian and emergent/herbaceous wetland habitat onsite at the golf course as mitigation for facility enhancements and property renovations that affected federal and state jurisdictional waters and wetlands. Land IQ worked with the hydrologists and engineers at WRC Consultant Services, Inc. to develop the final restoration and monitoring plan. The plan included creating and revegetating a new steam channel along a historic blue-line stream, as well as enhancing riparian and emergent vegetation along two existing golf course lakes. Land IQ is responsible for:

  • Verifying plant layout, and monitoring plant installation and seeding;
  • Horticultural maintenance monitoring;
  • Quarterly monitoring of plant establishment during the first year after installation;
  • Preparation of quarterly and annual monitoring reports.

The stream creation area achieved nearly 75 percent cover in its first year, just under the third-year performance criteria. The lake enhancement areas exceeded the fourth and fifth year performance criteria of 85 and 90 percent cover, respectively. Exotic vegetation had less than 10 percent cover at the end of the first year. Maintenance at the site continues. At this time, the project is in compliance of all permit mitigation requirements.

Owens Playa Surface Characterization

dust control native vegetation wetlands GIS soil classification salt crust Remote Sensing

Land IQ staff have been instrumental throughout the development of the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program, which now consists of 43 square miles of dust control facilities (including shallow flooding, gravel, native vegetation and mitigated wetlands). These facilities are successfully controlling what was one of the largest sources of PM10 (windblown dust) in the world.

Land IQ’s remote sensing specialists have assisted the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in developing dust control and monitoring technologies, including innovative remote ground characterization and monitoring tools for the over 100 square mile project area.

Our advanced and customized remote sensing analyses assist operational personnel in facility management and optimization. These remote monitoring methods also serve as the basis for dust control compliance tracking and determinations. Satellite imagery, remote sensing and GIS techniques are used to map, analyze, and monitor the following characteristics on up to 100 square miles of playa surface:

  • Playa surface characteristics including salt crust and soil classification, moisture and relief
  • Surface wetness classes including standing water, saturated, and moist surfaces
  • Vegetative cover including specific vegetative conditions (plant community and phenological status)
  • Surface feature identification including traffic paths, stormflows, and sand and dune extents

Our remote sensing and science team has provided accurate and cost-effective monitoring data over a broad expanse that would otherwise be infeasible. Land IQ continues to develop new remote sensing methods to address evolving client and project needs.