Appendix F Restoration Plan - Highways.dot.gov

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Appendix FRestoration Plan

RESTORATION PLAN FORTHE RED ROCK TRAIL AND INTERSECTIONS pared November 2021Preparing OfficesBureau of Land ManagementRed Rock/Sloan Field Office4701 N. Torrey Pines DriveLas Vegas, Nevada 89130Central Federal Lands Highway Division12300 West Dakota AvenueLakewood, CO 80228Approved by

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RESTORATION PLANDOI-BLM-NV-S021-2021-0008-EATable of Contents1.02.03.04.05.0Introduction/Background .1Project Impacts and Temporary Use Areas .4Restoration Actions in Detail .63.1Pre-construction Actions . 63.1.1 Seed Collection . 63.1.2 Succulent Plant Salvage . 63.1.3 Native Shrub Salvage . 73.1.4 Salvage of Vertical Mulch and Rock . 73.1.5 Salvage of Surface and Subsurface Soils . 73.2Post-construction Actions . 83.2.1 Earthwork . 83.2.2 Replanting . 83.2.3 Seeding . 83.2.4 Signing . 93.3Monitoring . 93.3.1 Qualitative Monitoring . 93.3.2 Quantitative Monitoring . 93.3.3 Quantitative Performance Standards . 103.4Project Maintenance and Reporting. 103.4.1 As-Built Report . 113.4.2 Progress Reports . 113.4.3 Annual Reports . 123.5Corrective Actions . 123.6Final Project Release . 12Responsibilities . 134.1Owner/Project Proponent . 134.2Project Biologist/Restoration Ecologist . 134.3Maintenance Contractor. 13References. 14Tables1-1.2-1.2-2.2-3.3-1.3-2.3-3.3-4.Number of Cactus/Yucca Individuals within Each Disturbance Area. 3SNDO Restoration Guidance Definition Of Disturbance Levels . 4BLM Restoration Pre-construction Tasks for Project . 4BLM Restoration Post-construction Tasks for Project . 5Seed Mix for RRCNCA Trail and Intersections Improvements Project. 7Restoration Monitoring Schedule . 96-Year Performance Targets for the RRCNCA Trail and Intersections Improvements Project Site . 106-Year Restoration Maintenance and Reporting Schedule for the RRCNCA Trail and IntersectionsImprovements Site . 11FES0714201431LASiii

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RESTORATION PLANDOI-BLM-NV-S021-2021-0008-EA1.0 Introduction/BackgroundThe Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration – CentralFederal Lands Highway Division (FHWA-CFLHD) has approved roadway improvements to safety, access, andpreservation of natural resources in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA) along StateRoute (SR)-159 (Figure 1). The main elements of the Proposed Action include a 5.5-mile-long, multi-use trailconnecting the Summerlin residential development and existing Interstate (I)-215 West Beltway Trail to theRRCNCA Scenic Drive Fee Area, extended deceleration lanes at the Calico Basin Road and RRCNCA ScenicDrive Fee Area intersections with SR-159, four new parking areas, and relocation of the “Red Rock Canyon”rock sign. As described in the BLM National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessment (EA)document DOI-BLM-NV-S020-2021-0008-EA, this project will permanently impact 19.72 acres andtemporarily impact 15.44 acres of creosote bush, blackbrush, and desert wash habitat. This restoration plandescribes the revegetation practices and performance standards that will be implemented to restore theproject area once project improvements are complete. This plan is prepared based on Southern NevadaDistrict Office (SNDO) restoration planning guidance dated September 2001 (BLM and Native Resources2001; SAIC 2001).The project is located in the RRCNCA, 15 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada (Figure 1). The project includes thefollowing improvements to SR-159, intersections, and trail: Construct a 5.5-mile-long, multi-use trail connecting the Summerlin residential development andexisting I-215 West Beltway Trail to the RRCNCA Scenic Drive Fee Area. Extend deceleration lanes at the Calico Basin Road and RRCNCA Scenic Drive Fee Area intersections withSR-159. Construct three new parking areas within this portion of RRCNCA. Relocate the “Red Rock Canyon” rock sign.The project has been designed to improve safety for all users of SR-159, improve access to RRCNCA, andcreate a high-quality recreational experience for visitors in the RRCNCA. The BLM Red Rock/Sloan FieldOffice is responsible for managing the RRCNCA.Total new surface disturbance resulting from the project would be approximately 35.16 acres. This includes19.72 acres of permanent disturbance and 15.44 acres of temporary disturbance. The area impacted iswithin the Nevada Department of Transportation right-of-way and BLM multiple-use lands outside of anyAreas of Critical Environmental Concern. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has identified this area as lowdensity desert tortoise habitat. No designated critical habitat for this species is present.Surface disturbance will occur in several vegetation community types, as described in the RRCNCA ResourceManagement Plan and Record of Decision (BLM 2005). The creosote bush community generally occurs onvalley floors and benches at elevations below 3,600 feet. In addition to creosote bush, other dominantspecies in this community include white bursage (Ambrosia dumosa), desert-thorn (Lycium andersonii),hopsage (Grayia spinosa), several cactus species, and the invasive grasses red brome (Bromus rubens) andcheatgrass (B. tectorum). The blackbrush community generally occurs on bajada terraces with shallow soilsat elevations between 3,500 and 6,000 feet. Other dominant species found in this community includeJoshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), banana yucca (Y. baccata), Mormon tea (Ephedra spp.), and horsebrush(Tetradymia spp.). Grass species include big galleta (Hilaria rigida) and desert needle grass (Achnatherumspeciosum). The desert wash community bisects the creosote bush and blackbrush communities and iscomposed of a variety of species.FES0714201431LAS1

RESTORATION PLANDOI-BLM-NV-S021-2021-0008-EAFigure 1. Project AreaFES0714201431LAS2

RESTORATION PLANDOI-BLM-NV-S020-2021-0008-EADominant species include rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.), desert almond (Prunus fasciculata), desertwillow (Chilopsis linearis), and screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens). Vegetation may also be acontinuation of vegetation communities on adjacent terraces traversed by the wash.Yellow two-tone beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor ssp. bicolor), a BLM sensitive plant species, is known tooccur in the project area, but will not be directly impacted by project implementation.Cactus and yucca are present within the project area. Approximately 422 cactus and 2,721 yucca plants willbe directly impacted by the project. Table 1-1 shows the counts of each plant species within the temporaryand permanent disturbance areas. Plants from the temporary disturbance areas will be salvaged andreplanted in the new cut and fill slopes, landscape islands in the parking areas, and other temporarydisturbance areas following completion of construction. An additional percentage of those species,determined in coordination with the salvage contractor and BLM, will be salvaged from the permanentdisturbance areas to achieve 100 percent succulent survival success in temporary disturbance areas. Cactiand yucca will be outplanted in the same species distributions and densities as in reference sites along thetrail.Table 1-1. Number of Cactus/Yucca Individuals within Each Disturbance AreaCactus or Yucca SpeciesTemporary Disturbance AreaPermanent Disturbance AreaSilver cholla(Cylindropuntia echinocarpa)3772Pencil cholla(Cylindropuntia ramosissima)1182Cottontop cactus(Echinocactus polycephala)888Strawberry hedgehog cactus(Echinocereus engelmannii)822Desert pincushion(Escobaria chlorantha)15Barrel cactus(Ferocactus cylindraceus)1232Matted/dead cholla(Grusonia parishii)35Beavertail cactus(Opuntia basilaris)729Joshua tree(Yucca brevifolia)44113Mojave yucca(Yucca schidigera)7951760Total9262208Temporary holding for salvaged plants must occur in weed-free area(s).The Red Rock Canyon Trail and Intersections Improvements project falls under the Restoration Level 1 (R1)category as described in SNDO restoration guidance summarized in Attachment 1. Under this guidance, therestoration of R1 areas is considered successful if 100 percent of the cover, density, and species richness ofthe native perennial vegetation are achieved in a 6-year period. This restoration plan describes therestoration techniques, plant pallet, maintenance, monitoring, and project schedule for achieving the R1performance standard in 6 years.FES0714201431LAS3

RESTORATION PLANDOI-BLM-NV-S020-2021-0008-EA2.0 Project Impacts and Temporary Use AreasPermanent and temporary impacts from the project will result in a Disturbance Level 3 (D-3) as defined bySNDO restoration guidance (BLM and Native Resources 2001), summarized in Table 2-1. The suite ofapproved restoration responses are summarized in Tables 2-2 and 2-3. Also included in Tables 2-2 and 2-3are the measures that must be completed as part of this restoration project.Table 2-1. SNDO Restoration Guidance Definition Of Disturbance LevelsD-1. Overland Drive and Crush.D-2. Clear and CutDisturbance caused by accessing asite without significantly modifyingthe landscape. Vegetation is crushedbut not cropped. Soil is compacted,but no surface soil is removed.Examples include utility linetensioning and pulling areas, towerpad sites, overland access to fiberoptic meter sites, and spur roads totowers. Even though vegetation maybe damaged and even destroyed,the surface soil and seed bankremains in place. Some crushedvegetation will likely resprout afterdisturbance ceases. These activitieswould result in minimal to moderatedisturbance.Disturbance caused by accessing theproject site, but having to brush offall vegetation in order to improve orprovide suitable access for otherequipment. All vegetation isremoved, soils are compacted, butno surface soil is removed. Examplesinclude temporary access roadswhere the road is improved foraccess and could include someexamples from D-1. Clear and cutactivities would result in moderatedisturbance.D-3. Clear and Cut with SoilRemovalDisturbance is caused by removingall vegetation in the impact zone,the soils are compacted and thesurface soil is displaced, and forproject requiring undergroundinstallation the subsurface soils aredisplaced as well. These activitiesresult in heavy disturbance.Examples include pipelines, buriedfiberoptic lines, access roads thatrequire grading and filling.Table 2-2. BLM Restoration Pre-construction Tasks for ProjectTasksWill Task Be Implementedon Trail and IntersectionsImprovements ProjectRationaleSalvage cactus and yuccaand relocate outside ofdisturbance areas.YesSalvage is necessary because cacti and yucca are presentin the project area.Salvage perennialvegetation, rocks, andvertical mulch.YesPerennial plants will be salvaged and stockpiled outsideof disturbance areas during construction and replantedin similar densities and species compositions intemporary disturbance areas.Seed CollectionYesReseeding is necessary for successful revegetation.Conserve and stockpile4 inches of topsoil in alldisturbed areas.YesA D-3 level of impact is expected. Conservation isnecessary to ensure that existing topsoil can be usedduring revegetation effort, and no outside topsoil isrequired.FES0714201431LAS4

RESTORATION PLANDOI-BLM-NV-S020-2021-0008-EATable 2-3. BLM Restoration Post-construction Tasks for ProjectTasksWill Task Be Implementedon Trail and IntersectionsImprovements ProjectRationaleRecontour siteYesA D-3 level of impact is expected. Natural topographywill need to be restored.Decompact soilsYesA D-3 level of impact is expected. Ripping usingmechanized equipment will be necessary fordecompaction.Replace topsoil/verticalmulchYesTopsoil is necessary for reclamation of all areas ofsurface disturbance.Texture soil surfaceYesA D-3 level of impact is expected. Imprinting, pitting, orother surface texturing techniques are required.Process, remove, or colorcalicheNoNot applicable.Replant succulentsYesCacti and yucca in temporary use areas will be salvagedand replanted in new cut and fill slopes, landscapeislands in the parking areas, and other temporarydisturbance areas at construction completion.ReseedYesReseeding is necessary for successful revegetation.Succulent outplantingYesCacti and yucca in temporary use areas will be salvagedand replanted in new cut and fill slopes, landscapeislands in the parking areas, and other temporarydisturbance areas at construction completion.Stabilize surface soilYesThe use of chemical stabilizers is not approved on BLMlands in Southern Nevada District.Permeon applicationNoNot applicable.Installation of restorationsignsYes“Restoration in Progress” signs are required at vehicularentry points.MonitoringYesMonitoring is necessary to determine if project successcriteria have been achieved.ReportingYesReporting over a 6-year minimum period is expected.FES0714201431LAS5

RESTORATION PLANDOI-BLM-NV-S020-2021-0008-EA3.0 Restoration Actions in DetailThe sequential actions for a restoration project include survey and planning, pre-construction restorationactions, post-construction restoration actions, and monitoring. For this project, survey and planningactivities are included in the project EA and are not included in this plan. Pre-construction restorationactions, post-construction actions, monitoring, and reporting are included in this plan.3.1Pre-construction ActionsPre-construction actions include perennial seed collection, succulent plant salvage, salvaging vertical mulchand rock, and salvage of surface and subsurface soils. The following restoration actions will begin and beperformed by the BLM and the Contractor prior to construction of the project. Any changes to the protocoldescribed here must be approved by BLM before implementation.3.1.1Seed CollectionSeed for use in the restoration effort may be collected from the project site or adjacent BLM lands withinthe same provisional seed transfer zone. A seed mix for the project is provided (Table 3-1). Any changesmust be approved by the BLM prior to application. Onsite seed collection activities will be conducted by aqualified seed company or other BLM-approved method (e.g., trained volunteers). Seed collection must beperformed in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts. The protocol used must be approved by BLMprior to implementation. With prior approval, sites for seed collection can be anywhere on public landswithin the Red Rock Field Office within the same provisional seed transfer zone(s). Only mature seeds will becollected. Pounds of seeds required will be based on the approved seed mix and estimate of acres oftemporary disturbance for the project. No more than 20 percent of available seeds at the time of collectionwill be collected from any one population. Seeds will be collected, cleaned, tested for pounds live seed,certified weed free, and stored by the Contractor until they are ready for use, unless other arrangementsapproved by BLM are made. The contractor must obtain a commercial seed collection permit from BLMbefore seed collection. Seeds will be stored dry in containers, which will be labeled with exact location, dateof collection, and collector. Containers must be located in a rodent- and insect-proof location.3.1.2Succulent Plant SalvageAll the cacti and yucca that are subject for removal will be identified onsite with flagging tape. The northorientation for all cacti will also be marked. During the survey, all yucca clusters will be counted as separateplants. A list describing quantity and species will be provided to the BLM upon completion of the task. ForR1, all succulents, irrespective of size, will be salvaged.Prior to any ground disturbance, an organized accessible and secure nursery site of appropriate size will beidentified and established. This nursery will provide ease of care and maintenance for the plant material.Site-specific nursery requirements may be applicable but should be designed to minimize any additionaldisturbance to the project site. All salvaged plant material will be replanted in vertical trenches that have adepth of 18 inches or larger. A BLM-approved cacti and yucca salvage contractor with a minimum of 3 yearsof experience will be used for the salvage operation. Yuccas should be planted with 1-foot spacing. Allsucculents will be dug bareroot and replanted within 24 hours at the nursery site. Yucca clusters will bebroken into individual stems prior to replanting at nursery. All cacti will be planted with the same northorientation as they organically grew ( /- 15 degrees). All small cacti will be watered thoroughly one timeupon being replanted to the nursery. Several waterings will take place after planting to remove or minimizeany air pockets and assure proper soil compaction. Care should be taken to properly compact all soil aroundroots of plants that are directly transplanted in the nursery. Additional watering will occur during hotmonths.FES0714201431LAS6

RESTORATION PLANDOI-BLM-NV-S020-2021-0008-EACacti and yucca from permanent disturbance areas that will not be used for replanting will be relocated to aBLM storage area by the proponent.3.1.3Native Shrub SalvageAll shrubs in temporary disturbance areas, as well as a proportion of other perennial plants from permanentdisturbance areas, will be salvaged and housed in an onsite nursery as described previously. Salvage of theseplant materials will assist in meeting restoration targets of 100 percent. Shrubs will be watered andmaintained as necessary to ensure their survival.3.1.4Salvage of Vertical Mulch and RockFor areas that require clearing and cutting, any vegetation not salvaged will be mechanically windrowed toan area outside disturbance boundary to create vertical mulch. Large rocks and boulders will also beremoved to the side. Care should be taken to prevent the disturbance of the natural patina or desert varnishof these rocks.3.1.5Salvage of Surface and Subsurface SoilsAfter required plants have been salvaged from the site, conduct topsoil salvage by removing the top 4 inches(plus or minus 2 inches) of soil, including all rocks and vegetation. Rocks greater than 6 inches can beremoved and stockpiled outside the disturbance areas but within the right-of-way. This topsoil should belabeled as such and protected from erosion and inadvertent use as fill. Topsoil will never be mixed withsubsoil. When stockpiled, topsoil will be treated with a vegetable-based tackifier to a 2-inch wetting depthto minimize erosion. If bedrock close to surface will not allow for full salvage, salvage what is available.Different soil types, such as gypsum and sand, will be stockpiled separately. Overall handling should be keptto a minimum.Table 3-1. Seed Mix for RRCNCA Trail and Intersections Improvements ProjectScientific Name(Common Name)Target number of live seeds persquare meter of revegetation siteAcceptable seed sourcesAchnatherum hymenoides(Indian ricegrass)50From appropriate PSTZ within RRCNCASphaeralcea ambigua(desert globemallow)50From appropriate PSTZ within RRCNCAAmbrosia dumosa(white bursage)100From appropriate PSTZ within RRCNCAAtriplex canescens(four-wing saltbush)50From appropriate PSTZ within RRCNCALarrea tridentata(Creosote)100From appropriate PSTZ within RRCNCAPlantago ovata(Indian desertwheat)50From appropriate PSTZ within RRCNCATotal400Not ApplicableNotes:Number of pounds needed for 5 acres to be calculated by the Project Biologist and/or seed vendor based on the targetnumber of live seeds per square meter provided percent purity of the seed lot, percent germination of the seed lot andnumber of seeds per pound in the seed lot.PSTZ provisional seed transfer zoneRRCNCA Red Rock Canyon National Conservation AreaFES0714201431LAS7

RESTORATION on ActionsThe following subsections describe actions that are implemented by the Contractor after the completion ofconstruction activities, which include: earthwork, reseeding, and signage.3.2.1EarthworkIncludes burying subsurface soils (including caliche), applying surface soils, and decompacting soils. Forprojects that disturb surface and subsurface soil, the segregated topsoil is typically windrowed on one sideof the trench and should be replaced back into the trench in order with the subsurface below the surfacesoils.Topsoil salvage is a requirement on this project. If significant caliche is encountered during excavations, itwill be crushed into fine material before replacing back into the trench. Small amounts of caliche may bereplaced into the trench, however there must be sufficient finer material to achieve natural terraincontours. After recontouring to natural grade and loosening the subsurface soil, surface soils will bereplaced over the top of the subsurface materials.Where any compaction exists, the surface will be scarified, tilled, or harrowed to a depth of 6inches, as appropriate (e.g., not applicable to rock faces, severe slopes, or cliff areas). Depth ofcompaction relief will depend on site-specific conditions. Decompacting and ripping will beconducted to avoid “corn rows.” Cross-ripping is preferable and care should be taken to preventinverting the soil layers. The surface soil will be redistributed following site recontouring andpreparation through decompaction and ripping. Small pieces of surface caliche may be buried to aminimum of 24 inches deep. Large pieces of caliche will be completely removed and disposed of inan appropriate landfill. Soil will be wet to a depth of 2 inches to prevent further erosion. The sitewill be left adequately rough after surface soil placement to provide micro sites for seedgermination and to reduce soil movement. Unless determined to be necessary by a qualifiedbiologist or restoration ecologist, deep sandy soils do not need to be decompacted and will not beripped.Replaced surface soil will be left in an unscreened condition in an effort to minimize erosion. Incase of shortage, it is better to replace a shallower depth in all areas than none in a few places.Additional erosion control and soil stabilization may be required to minimize soil movement,especially for heavily sloped areas or for fine-textured soils. Surface soil will not be handledexcessively during windy conditions.3.2.2ReplantingCacti, yucca, shrubs, and other perennial plants will be replanted in natural patterns and densitieswithin the temporary disturbance areas of the project. These plants will be watered, as needed, toensure a minimum of an 80 percent survival standard. Additional plants salvaged from thepermanent disturbance areas will be used to replace any mortality of plants that occurs. All plantsmust survive a minimum of 1 year after supplemental watering is ceased before any site releasecan be considered.3.2.3SeedingBroadcast seeding after surface preparation using an imprinter or soil pitter, or drill seeding are appropriatemethods. One of these techniques will be used on this project using the seed mix and rates described inTable 3-1.FES0714201431LAS8

RESTORATION PLAN3.2.4DOI-BLM-NV-S020-2021-0008-EASigningAll restoration areas will have signs installed at regular intervals to deter vehicular damage to the site. Theproponent will purchase and install restoration signs and t-posts that meet BLM specifications.3.3MonitoringThe long-term goal for restoration on BLM lands is to facilitate the recovery of ecosystem structure andfunction on disturbed sites in a way that will eventually lead to the establishment of self-sustaining nativeplant communities through natural processes. Both qualitative and quantitative monitoring will beconducted by the BLM per the schedule described in Table 3-2. Both quantitative and qualitative monitoringdata will be used to evaluate recovery and identify the need for additional remediation.Monitoring of pre-construction restoration actions, such as plant salvage and seed collection, will beperformed under the supervision of a qualified biologist or restoration ecologist.Table 3-2. Restoration Monitoring ScheduleMonitoringTasksQualitativeSite inspections/visual assessmentsQualitativePhoto monitoringQuantitativeTransect/plot monitoring3.3.1Year 1Year 2Years 3-5Year yQualitative MonitoringQualitative monitoring will be conducted by the BLM and used to inform the proponent, contractors, andBLM regarding the trajectory of recovery and identify potential problems at an early stage so that correctiveactions can be taken before the overall project timeline is adversely affected. Qualitative monitoring willinclude documentation via photograph points, site inspections, and visual assessments made by the ProjectBiologist or Restoration Ecologist. A site-specific qualitative monitoring form should be developed and usedto provide consistency throughout the monitoring period. The goal of qualitative monitoring is to documentsite conditions and evaluate the need for remediation to ensure that sites are progressing toward thesuccess standard.Qualitative monitoring should include observations regarding the germination and establishment of speciesincluded in the seed mix; estimates of the success parameters (cover, density and richness of perennialvegetation); and estimates of the density and richness of native annuals. Other site characteristics thatshould be observed and noted include soil erosion, natural recruitment of native plant species,reproduction, nonnative plant species abundance, animal use, and patterns of establishing vegetation (i.e.,presence of large interspaces).3.3.2Quantitative MonitoringQuantitative monitoring will be conducted by the BLM and used to objectively evaluate whether the projecthas achieved sufficient progress so that it can be considered restored to a point where natural processes willcomplete recovery. As part of quantitative monitoring, success parameters are measured on restored sitesin the sixth growing season (or sooner if deemed appropriate) and compared to undisturbed reference areasto determine if the restoration standards have been met.Sample locations within both the reference area and reclaimed area need to be randomly selected. Samplesize adequacy should be calculated to ensure a sufficient number of samples are taken to estimate themeans for succes

The project is located in the RRCNCA, 15 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada (Figure 1). The project includes the following improvements to SR-159, intersections, and trail: Construct a 5.5 -mile-long, multi-use trail connecting the Summerlin residential development and existing I-215 West Beltway Trail to the RRCNCA Scenic Drive Fee Area.

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