These are words that mean a lot to us. To respect the environment. To preserve history. To enhance the world around us. Our clients entrust us with their projects. We aim to take their trust in us and invest it into a brilliant future.

Each project (development, maintenance, acquisition, etc) has its own challenges and opportunities, which is why we implement individual solutions.  We seek to understand the project’s purpose and need, alternatives to minimizing harm to the environment, and the environmental consequences of the project’s objectives on the resources we value.

Environmental Assessments

Rio Salado Pathway Priest Drive Underpass

The City of Tempe received federal funding towards construction of a segment of the Rio Salado Multi-Use Pathway along the south bank levee of the Salt River.  The new segment is located under the Priest Drive Bridge and links existing pathway segments to the east and west.  DSG prepared the technical documents required for Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) compliance, including the PISA, UPBE, CIF, Section 106 consultation, agency scoping, Section 4(f) consultation, and Categorical Exclusion.

Location: Tempe, Arizona
Timeframe:
 Spring – Summer 2015 
Accomplishments: Successful completion of Categorical Exclusion found no sensitive resources within project area
Challenges: Determining overall project footprint during preliminary design and construction access for pathway construction

Yavapai Ranch Reciprocal Easement Exchange

Del Sol Group prepared an EA for the Prescott National Forest (PNF), for an easement conveyance of approximately 20 miles of roads located in the land ownership “checkerboard” of Yavapai County. The PNF, in return, requested reciprocal easements across private lands to public lands. The EA, encompassing nearly 35,000 acres, consisted of a roads analysis, agency scoping and coordination, resource inventory including biological and cultural surveys, and GIS mapping.

Location: Yavapai County, Arizona
Timeframe:
May 2010 – January 2013
Accomplishments: PNF granted easements to private land owner across PNF lands
Challenges: Impact analysis of roads to be improved due to future development.

Southern Dunes Golf Course

Del Sol Group prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the fee-to-trust transfer of approximately 300 acres adjacent to the Ak-Chin Indian Community in Maricopa, Arizona, encompassing the Southern Dunes Golf Course. The transfer constituted a federal action under NEPA, with Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) as the reviewing agency. The EA analyzed land, water (quality, use, rights), air, biological, and cultural resources, and socioeconomic conditions.

Location: Maricopa, Arizona
Timeframe:
March 2011 – March 2013
Accomplishments: Approved Finding of No Significant Impact by BIA
Challenges: Adverse scoping comments and delayed support of project by adjacent land owners/interested parties

Yuma Multi-Use Pathway Extension Segments

Del Sol Group prepared environmental compliance documentation for the City of Yuma for six multi-­use pathway segments extending along the Colorado River and Yuma Main Canal from the West Wetlands restoration area to the East Wetlands restoration area. The restoration projects provide pedestrian access and amenities that contribute to the City’s extensive pathway network and improve the overall Yuma historical climate. Federal funds were utilized for these projects, requiring compliance with Federal Highways Administration.

Location: Yuma, Arizona
Timeframe:
August 2007 – August 2013
Accomplishments: Approved environmental documentation for federal funds
Challenges: Biological resource coordination to assess impacts to nearby endangered species, and Section 4(f) resource evaluation due to pathway connections, historic sites/landmarks

Flagstaff Guardrail Improvements

Del Sol Group completed environmental compliance documentation for the City of Flagstaff, which received federal funds to make improvements at 60 guardrail locations within the City limits. Over the next few years, the City plans to upgrade existing guardrails adjacent to City-maintained roadways to meet safety standards. Planned improvements include repair of approach and departure end treatments, reconstruction of guardrail to current required height, replace damaged guardrail beams, install additional guardrail beams to extend overall guardrail length, and install or replace thrie-beam connectors at existing concrete barriers.

Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Timeframe:
June 2014 – December 2014
Accomplishments: Ability to meet project schedule and within budget
Challenges: Environmental review team agreement on approach to technical resource data collection and analysis

Ecological Services

FEMA Project Compliance

Numerous projects requiring a Conditional Letters of Map Revision (CLOMR) for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) review requires compliance with the Endangered Species Act. For these projects, Del Sol Group Biologists survey the floodplain area for special status species and write a Biological Review for compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Procedure Memorandum 64.

Location: Statewide
Timeframe:
January 2013– present
Accomplishments: Successful avoidance of sensitive species and habitats 
Challenges: Meeting fast – track schedule

Fort McDowell Pave Dirt Roads

The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation (FMYN) received federal funding for paving dirt roads within the Reservation. Approximately 19 miles of roads were targeted for paving, four miles ultimately funded, triggering compliance with Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) who administers federal funds. A Categorical Exclusion (CE) was completed for the project for the first phase (4 miles) of road improvements. In addition to preparing a CE, a Biological Assessment was prepared to mitigate potential impacts to nesting bald eagles within the Reservation.

Location: Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
Timeframe: November 2009 – September 2011
Accomplishments: Consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service allowed for buffer zones to be established during construction to minimize disturbance to bald eagles
Challenges: Clear communication of buffer zones to design plans and contractor specifications

On-­call Ecological Services – National Homebuilder

Under a Master Services Agreement, Del Sol Group provides ecological services to a Nationally-recognized home builder as part of their due diligence in acquiring parcels within Arizona. Del Sol Group has worked on nearly 20 projects for this developer, some projects involved species surveys and/or recommendations for avoidance of habitat, while others, had no issues.

Location: Maricopa & Pima Counties, Arizona
Timeframe:
November 2009 – present
Accomplishments: Successful avoidance of sensitive species and habitats
Challenges: Meeting homebuilder’s schedule, often “ASAP” to meet close of escrow dates

Territory Square

The Territory Square project began in May 2010 and is a multi-faceted, multi-owner project on approximately 600 acres along the Gila River. The Town of Florence has been implementing this project through preliminary engineering and ongoing planning to develop the most creative, flexible, and mutually beneficial development project. Located just west of State Route 79, Del Sol Group Biologists surveyed the floodplain area for special status species and wrote a Biological Review for compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Procedure Memorandum 64 for Endangered Species Compliance.

Location: Florence, Arizona
Timeframe:
January – April 2013
Accomplishments: Successful avoidance of sensitive species and habitats
Challenges: Meeting fast – track schedule

Laughlin Heritage Trails & Arizona Heritage Trail

In 2011, DSG was contracted to implement the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) mitigation measures of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) issued to Clark County for the Laughlin Regional Trails project, which is within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area adjacent to the Colorado River. The BOR identified habitat for the endangered Mojave desert tortoise in which DSG Biologists conducted surveys and monitoring of the project area during construction.  

In 2016, DSG was contracted to author an EA for a 3.5-mile segment of trails along the river north of Bullhead City.  The EA is planned for finalization Summer 2016 and includes two alternative corridors on land administered by BOR near Davis Dam.

Location: Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona
Timeframe:
January – May 2011 and January 2016- present
Accomplishments: Successful tortoise training to construction personnel, no impacts to tortoise
Challenges: Communication to contractor to understand federal requirements

Section 404 Permitting

Soldier Wash

In summer of 2016, Soldier Wash filled the banks with stormwater, which breached in several locations flooding parking lots and adjacent businesses.  Soldier Wash drains approximately 3.3 square miles extending into U.S. Forest lands.  In order to convey the 25-year storm event, Soldier Wash needed to be widened.   Del Sol Group provided the City with biological surveys for three special-status species and prepared an Individual 404 permit for the project, which included analysis of three, non-widening alternatives.  Construction of the channel will be conducted in phases, starting spring 2017 extending through 2019.

Location: Sedona, Arizona
Timeframe:
 January 2015 – Present 
Accomplishments: Successful team communication between the Army Corps of Engineers, City Engineer, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Arizona Game & Fish Department, Shephard-Wesnitzer engineering team, adjacent property owners and Tiffany Contractors.
Challenges: Describing and interpreting technical details of design alternatives for Corps’ analysis, which included aesthetic treatments within a visually sensitive and high tourist activity area

Trilogy West at Vistancia

Shea Homes’ construction of a multi-phase residential development at Vistancia, west of Phoenix is one of the largest in the valley.  DSG provided technical documentation and 404 permitting for this project, which includes construction monitoring for permit compliance. 

Location: Peoria, Arizona
Timeframe:
 Spring 2014 – Present 
Accomplishments: Minimization of impact to jurisdictional washes allowing for streamlined permitting
Challenges: Noting construction changes in field relative to design plans

Indian Bend Wash Golf Course

Del Sol Group completed 404 permitting for a large golf-course grading project located within a 100-year floodplain, which was successfully permitted as a Nationwide Permit. The project required tremendous research in regulations, historical drainage conditions, and a professional, well-documented approach for demonstrating impacts to jurisdictional waters of the U.S. The $8.5 Million restoration of Indian Bend Golf Course was a high priority and a tremendous achievement for the Marriott International Corporation.

Location: Phoenix and Paradise Valley, Arizona
Timeframe:
April – August 2011
Accomplishments: Nationwide Permit granted for golf course renovation and drainage improvements
Challenges: Clear communication of established ordinary high water mark to golf course architects and on-site construction crews

ASLD 404 Consulting

Since 2014, Del Sol Group has assisted the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) in reviewing current permitting and monitoring requirements at its existing Desert Ridge and Paradise Ridge projects in Phoenix, Arizona. DSG worked with ASLD to revise the 404 permits, specifically, to have an option for developers to pay In-Lieu Fee (ILF) instead of on-site planting, watering, and monitoring. 

Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Timeframe:
December 2014 – Present 
Accomplishments:  Revised 404 permits with clarified responsibilities of ASLD upon ownership transfer and ILF
Challenges:  Communication of ILF program to potential buyers and designated use of wash corridors to homeowners

Aloravita – North

Del Sol Group completed 404 permitting for a 640-acre parcel, which was successfully permitted as a Nationwide Permit. The project required a detailed review of on-site washes and vegetation characteristics, of which drainages found to contribute downstream to New River were found jurisdictional.

Location: Peoria, Arizona
Timeframe:
July 2013 – April 2014
Accomplishments: Nationwide Permit granted for roadway crossings of regulated drainages
Challenges: Interpreting the federally-regulated drainages to engineers in support of the City of Peoria’s local conservation ordinance

Cultural Resource Services

Indian Reservation Road

Utilizing federal transportation dollars administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the BIA proposed to improve a one-mile segment of a road within the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation. A site file research revealed that the road passed through two previously recorded sites, one was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). An archaeological survey was conducted along the road and several isolated artifact occurrences were identified within the boundaries of the two sites. The survey report recommended that a combination of testing and monitoring be conducted in conjunction with the road improvement project. No surface remains were found during site testing.

Timeframe: April 2010 – August 2012
Accomplishments: Authorizing agency visited NRHP-eligible site to determine approach for mitigation
Challenges: Interpretation of roadway improvements to minimize impacts to sensitive cultural sites