Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP) Biological Services

TRTP Windmills Sky resized 600The Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP) is a Southern California Edison project to build new and upgraded transmission infrastructure along almost 200 miles of land, from the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area (located in Kern County) through Los Angeles and ending in the Mira Loma Substation in San Bernardino County.  The transmission lines will allow up to 4,500 megawatts to be integrated into the electrical facilities, providing more power for Southern California.  Construction is expected to be a three year process and started in April 2010.

In the spring of 2011 Rincon began providing biological support services for TRTP.  Rincon’s team of biologists were tasked with providing daily general and pre-construction surveys, including:General Field Surveys, Botanical Surveys, Arborist Surveys, General Avian Surveys, General Raptor Surveys, Herpetological Surveys, Bat Surveys, Butterfly Surveys.

Rincon Botanists Examining Species resized 600Rincon provided a team of nesting bird surveyors to conduct nest searches as well as monitor the status of known nests.  Rincon was also tasked with providing permitted biologists to conduct focused special-status species surveys, vegetation mapping and rare plant surveys.  Specifically, protocol and focused surveys include: California red-legged frog,Arroyo toad,Desert tortoise,Burrowing owl,Spotted Owl,Swainson’s Hawk,California gnatcatcher,Least Bell’s vireo,Southwestern willow flycatcher,Mohave ground squirrel,Stephen’s kangaroo rat,Small mammal trapping, andVernal Pool Branchiopods.

Rincon had 25 biologists who actively provided support on the project and another 15 on-call biologists available for focused survey efforts.  The project required a 6-7 day work week, 10-12 hour field days, and rapid response for staff assignments.  The key elements of Rincon’s approach to this program included maintaining strong project management, organizational efficiency, and flexibility in order to streamline coordination and provide responsive staffing to geographically diverse assignments.