Projects

Cary Aloia and Jenny Nehring are partners in Wetland Dynamics, LLC (WDLLC).

Over the past 10 to 15 years, biologists with WDLLC have been involved in a variety of wetland, waterbird, vegetation, and conservation related projects throughout the SLV, Colorado, and United States.  Projects are related to the development of management, monitoring, outreach, and wildlife methods and strategies within wetland, riparian, and upland ecosystems.

Biologists working for WDLLC have been involved in a wide variety of projects since 1999, coming together as partners in 2012 to combine efforts and service a larger range of stakeholders. Projects vary from working with endangered species, grant administration, bird and vegetation monitoring, development and implementation of management plans, to the daily management of wetlands and riparian areas along the Rio Grande. Please browse the many projects we have been involved with and contact us with your specific project needs.

Current Projects

  • Gunnison Sage-grouse Collaborative Action Plan: Wetland Dynamics LLC is working with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to coordinate, develop, and write The Gunnison Sage-Grouse Collaborative Action Plan (CAP). The CAP is intended to bring together a broad coalition of partners, including landowners, 11 counties, the States of Colorado and Utah, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and NFWF, who are working cooperatively to develop an Action Plan as the first step in the revision of the Range-Wide Conservation Plan for the Gunnison sage-grouse (GUSG). Read more…
  • SLV Watershed and Wildlife Conservation Assessment: WDLLC are developing the ‘SLV Watershed and Wildlife Conservation Assessment’ which will detail the history of changes in wetlands and agriculture to guide cooperative conservation goals for monitoring, management, and land conservation throughout the San Luis Valley for natural resource agencies and organizations. Read more…
  • Conservation Easement Baseline Inventory Reports: WDLLC work with local land trusts such as the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) to provide conservation easement Baseline Inventory Reports (BIR) in the San Luis Valley. The BIR is a biological site assessment which summarizes abiotic and biotic conditions of property, management and infrastructure changes, current conditions, and the perceived conservation values of the property. Read more…
  • Acoustic Monitoring on Public Lands: Acoustic monitoring methods developed by WDLLC were utilized in summer 2017 on projects with the Saguache Ranger District of the Rio Grande National Forest and the SLV BLM. The USFS project involved deploying acoustic monitors in timber sale areas to determine how effective they were in sampling song bird presence/absence information. Results from the acoustic monitors will be compared to on-the-ground bird surveys conducted by skilled birders. Read more…
  • Acoustic Monitoring on Private Lands – Conservation Innovation Grant:  
    Southwestern Willow Fly Catcher

    Southwestern Willow Fly Catcher

    This project is an exploration of the use of a passive acoustic monitoring technology to improve detection and monitoring of endangered, threatened, and species of concern in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Three species will be monitored including the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (SWFL), Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo (YBCU), and the Northern Leopard Frog (NLFR). Read more…

 

 

Past Projects

  • Bill Zeedyk Road and Stream Restoration Workshop – SLV Conservation and Connection Initiative Grant: : WDLLC received a grant (fiscal agent – Rio Grande Watershed Emergency Action Team) from the SLV Conservation and Connection Initiative to coordinate a road and stream restoration workshop on the road to Regan Lake in the Rio Grande National Forest.This funding along with several smaller grants was secured to cover workshop costs such as lunches, materials, travel, etc. from the SLV Wetland Focus Area Committee and the SLV Irrigation District. The keynote speaker for the workshop was Bill Zeedyk of Zeedyk Ecological Consulting out of New Mexico who has worked for decades to restore wet meadows, river systems, and riparian areas and has designed techniques for repairing road systems that are more easily maintained.
    Read more…
  • Gunnison Sage-grouse Working Group Coordination and Monitoring Project:
    wp-Poncha-pass-GUSG

    Poncha Pass

    In the SLV a small population of Gunnison Sage-grouse (GUSG) is present at Poncha Pass in Saguache County. This population has been the subject of conservation efforts since the formation of the Poncha Pass Gunnison Sage-grouse Working Group (Working Group) in 1998. As of November 2014 the GUSG has been listed as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Read more…

 

  •  Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Monitoring:  Cary with WDLLC participated in endangered southwestern willow flycatcher (SWFL) monitoring in 2007 and 2010. She developed an ArcGIS (geographic information system for working with maps and geographic information) database incorporating bird and habitat information and helped develop habitat metrics included in the SLV Regional HCP. Jenny has been involved with SWFL monitoring since 2002, working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on the McIntyre-Simpson area and other sites. Read more…
  • Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) Priority Wetland Landscape Descriptions:  Cary developed descriptions for the IWJVs 20 priority wetland landscapes, including the San Luis Valley, which were incorporated into their 2012 Implementation Plan.  Read more…
  • Rio Grande Basin Water Plan: Cary helped develop the environmental sections of the report through DiNatale Water Consultants (website link) in 2014. This plan developed goals, objectives, and projects for the Basin in order to provide a direction for the management of water resources in the coming years for a variety of stakeholders. Specific and general projects were included that may be funded through the Interbasin roundtable and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
  • Vegetation Mapping:
    wp-Vegetation-monitoring

    Vegetation Monitoring

    Cary Aloia with WDLLC helped complete vegetation mapping projects on the Russell Lakes, Rio Grande, and Higel State Wildlife Areas (SWA) and the Blanca Wetland Management Area, operated by the BLM.This mapping effort was done in conjunction with mapping on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) refuges in the San Luis Valley. The USFWS Region 2 Habitat and Population Evaluation Team, located in Albuquerque, NM, analyzed and segmented aerial photos taken with infra-red remote sensing equipment based on differences in vegetation reflectivity Read more…

 

 

  • Shorebird Monitoring Project:  Jenny has worked with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to establish baseline shorebird and waterfowl monitoring protocols at the BLM’s Blanca Wetlands site.  Initial surveys showed that for some species such as Wilson’s phalarope and Baird’s sandpiper the San Luis Valley is second only to the Great Salt Lake for fall migratory flock densities for these species.  Read more…
  • Colorado Wetland Program Projects:  Biologists with WDLLC have administered and provided oversight for several different projects funded through the Colorado Wetlands Program (CWP) on state and federal areas. Read more…
  • Conservation Easement Baseline Inventory Reports: Cary  has assisted and completed  conservation easement Baseline Inventory Reports (BIR) in the San Luis Valley for Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) and Ducks Unlimited, Inc (DU). The BIR is a biological site assessment which summarizes abiotic and biotic conditions of property , management and infrastructure changes, current conditions, and the perceived conservation values of the property. Read more…
  • Workshop Administration and Participation:  Cary and Jenny have assisted and coordinated workshops in the San Luis Valley (SLV) for landowners, agencies, and organizations in order to further the adaptation of efficient and effective management strategies in wetlands, riparian areas, and associated uplands on public and private lands.  Read more…
  • Lonetree Riparian Restoration:
    gwet-Lonetree Creek

    Lonetree Creek

    Lonetree Creek is located at Poncha Pass in Saguache County on BLM and private lands.  This ephemeral creek is important in the landscape for a wide variety of wildlife species including pronghorn, deer, elk, turkey, neotropical migrants and Gunnison Sage-grouse. Read more…

  • USFWS Hydrogeomorphic* Reports: Since 2011 Cary has participated in the development of Hydrogeomorphic reports for United States Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges located in Colorado, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania through Greenbrier Wetland Services. The goal is to restore wetland function through an analysis of historic and current conditions, management, anthropomorphic modifications, and overall objectives for the site. Read more…
    *Landforms created or modified by water.
  • Wetland Reserve Program Monitoring and Management: Wetland Dynamics biologists have worked with the local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) San Luis Valley wildlife biologist to help monitor and develop management plans on Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) conservation easements. Read more…
  • Professional Management Services for Colorado Parks and Wildlife:
    Duck Banding - Photo by Cary

    Duck Banding – Photo by Cary

    WDLLC provides management, monitoring and technical services on 7,400 acres of wetland, riparian, and associated uplands on State Wildlife Areas (SWA) in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Management and monitoring plans are developed annually including water and weed plans. Read more…