Project assessment is the process of investigating what natural resources, such as wetlands or streams, exist on your property and what kinds of protection are required by law. It’s important to understand what resources on your property might be subject to regulation so you can incorporate avoidance and minimization into your project design. It will also help you understand what must be compensated for if wetland impacts are unavoidable.
An individual project assessment begins by looking at the overall landscape setting, drainage basin, and existing natural and human-made features. Research should include databases for priority habitats (PHS maps), wetland inventory maps, fish use maps (Salmonscape), local critical areas maps, aerial maps, LIDAR, etc.
Have your site assessed for regulated resources
Following a complete examination of the available databases and mapping tools, the site must be thoroughly assessed for any and all regulated resources. Many sites contain unmapped streams or wetlands. Some may have threatened or endangered plants or animals that are not shown on any resource maps.
While mapping resources and previous studies provide important background information, they typically need to be supplemented with current site-specific information for permitting. Site-specific studies, such as wetland delineation and rating, are necessary to accurately characterize the resources on a site.