Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation

Madera & Fresno Counties, California

The primary objectives for the Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation included developing and managing San Joaquin River water supplies to contribute to restoration, improve the water quality of the San Joaquin River, and facilitate additional conjunctive management and water exchanges that improve the quality of water deliveries to urban communities.

Secondary objectives included increasing control of flood flows at Friant Dam, contributing to long-term Environmental Water Account water supply, developing hydropower generation opportunities, and developing recreation opportunities.

The investigation included several incremental documents that culminated in a feasibility report and supporting environmental documents. Burleson’s work included market research of the alternative Madera and Fresno parcels and biological surveys specific to preparation of the Draft EIS/EIR for the Investigation.

Rare Plant Surveys

Burleson conducted rare plant and Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (VELB) surveys and completed a plant inventory, determined the presence or absence of special-status plants in the study area to the extent feasible, and developed GIS information for special-status plant occurrences. Where plant presence or absence was not conclusively determined, the area was assessed for potential to support special-status plants, based on similarity of site conditions at locations known to support the plants.

Bird Surveys

Burleson’s biologists identified, evaluated, and described overall habitat suitability for birds within the study area, and conducted visual and audible assessments in all habitats to detect common bird species. Biologists walked transects in representative areas of all habitat types and detected birds by sight and sound. Any incidental observations of special-status species were recorded on California Native Species Field Survey Forms and submitted to California Natural Diversity Data Base (CNDDB).

Market Research

Burleson collected pertinent data and provided a restricted appraisal that offered an opinion of the fair market value for fee simple interest properties for 28 parcels. Burleson provided value estimates for the parcels that may be impacted by the Temperance Flat Reservoir alternatives. The parcels would be inundated by water with the construction of a new dam. The parcels were on the north and south side of the San Joaquin River in Madera and Fresno Counties. Burleson’s scope included reviewing Madera and Fresno County Land Records, field assessment, and documentation of results.

Client Satisfaction

"Burleson Consulting was excellent to work with and very professional. They assembled a top-notch team of experts to study and propose solutions to the water supply challenges at Sutter National Wildlife Refuge. The communication was excellent throughout the project. This included project staff, contracting personnel, and interested stakeholders. As a result, the project was completed on time and on budget. I would not hesitate to use or recommend Burleson Consulting in the future."Kevin Clancy, Project Manager – United States Bureau of Reclamation

"Burleson provided exceptional services under this contract. Because of their successful work, they were awarded a $7M follow-on IDIQ contract in 2014, that also encompasses biological monitoring at former Fort Ord. They have consistently improved their plant material collection and propagation techniques and pass the savings onto the federal government. Burleson is a valuable team member on Fort Ord and I feel that they are true stewards of the environment." William K. Collins, BRAC Environmental Coordinator, US Army Corps of Engineers

"Burleson has been able to work with several government agencies (to include tribal groups and natural resource trustees) and several responsible parties to assist in progressing this site to a stage where technical and agency concerns can be identified and resolved. Strengths – overall and in depth understanding of mine site and CERCLA dynamics. Deficiencies – none. I would not hesitate to use Burleson." Daniel McMindes, USACE Liaison to EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers

"Burleson helped to manage the Sacramento Area Voltage Support Environmental Impact Statement. They came through and were always available during an ‘energy crisis’ in California. I will continue to work with them."Loreen McMahon, Project Manager - California Public Utilities Commission

"We appreciated Burleson’s great work, re: completing the draft EIR on the scheduled date (it was a tremendous task, but they completed it). All of them put a lot of work into it (it was a true team effort). They should all be proud of this accomplishment given the changes and obstacles encountered along the way, and I cannot thank them enough."Glenn M. Shuder, AIA, CFM, Chief Architect - Project Director, SMUD

"We chose Burleson Consulting because of their experience with the specific project matter in technical and regulatory issues and for their record of excellent communication skills in complex, multiparty projects. They were responsive to the matter and were sensitive to all relationships between the parties involved."Kevin Mayer, PE, Project Manager - USEPA