A Balance of Conservation and Construction

 · 
June 7, 2024
 · 
2 min read
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When working in the field, you are bound to encounter some wildlife along the way. For example, we discovered this Eastern Box Turtle just a few weeks ago while running perc tests for a proposed residential development. Despite being a turtle, he was a speedy little fella and luckily escaped the path of the excavator without being harmed.

   

This week there was a fawn sighting in the Valley Forge area

This past November a red fox decided to check out the Howell truck

Conservation Protocol

Unfortunately, wildlife and construction go together like a glass of orange juice and brushing your teeth. It doesn't pair very well. However, in the past 50 years, environmental conservation has become a major focus of development.

At Howell, we often use the Pennsylvania National Heritage Program (PNHP). Currently, the program is a partnership between five government conservation agencies that protect our environment. These agencies include:

  • Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC)
  • Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC)
  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC)

For all projects that disturb an acre or more of land, we are required to conduct a PNDI (Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory). This crucial step involves gathering project information based on the site's location and collecting ecological data about rare plants, animals, unique plant communities, significant habitats, and geologic features in Pennsylvania and the specific area of interest. The PNDI, along with the PNHP database, which houses approximately 30,000 detailed digital occurrence records, allows us to track biodiversity and create a comprehensive picture of Pennsylvania's ecology. This information is instrumental in prioritizing efficient and effective conservation and restoration actions in line with statewide biodiversity conservation goals (Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program).

The PNDI receipt is a crucial document that lists potential impacts on threatened and endangered species and provides clear instructions on the necessary steps to be taken before construction can proceed. Many permit approvals require that a PNDI be cleared. So, don't hesitate to contact us for all your permitting needs!

 

Source: Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Available at: https://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/ (Accessed: 06 June 2024).

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