Davis Dam Substation to Mead Substation 230-kV Transmission Line Reconductor Biological and Cultural Monitoring


Western Area Power Administration
Clark County, NV


For the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), AZTEC provided biological and cultural training for onsite personnel and monitoring of project activities to avoid impacts to sensitive cultural sites in the area, species protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), as well as other special status species and biological resources in general. Biological efforts were focused primarily on the Mohave Desert tortoise. AZTEC provided an authorized desert tortoise biologist and monitors to assist Western in ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the Biological Opinion issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as part of ESA Section seven consultation for the project. The authorized biologist’s duties included presenting a tortoise awareness program to all onsite personnel, surveying for tortoises and their sign, monitoring construction activities, and relocating any tortoises that could be impacted by project activities. The authorized biologist also monitored for other special status species, such as California condors, Gila monsters, desert bighorn sheep, and birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and assisted with overall minimization of potential project-related impacts to biological resources in general. The final project deliverable was a report summarizing the monitoring efforts, which WAPA submitted to the stakeholder agencies. AZTEC’s role in this project is an example of our experience providing threatened and endangered species monitoring services during project construction.  Cultural resource activities involved spot monitoring for two cultural sites and tribal coordination to keep them informed of the project and organizing a site visit for tribal members.