Top Stories - August 24, 2016

 

Forest Service Survey Finds Record 66 Million Dead Trees in Southern Sierra Nevada

The U.S. Forest Service announced that it has identified an additional 26 million trees dead in California since October 2015. These trees are located in six counties across 760,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada region of the state, and are in addition to the 40 million trees that died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, bringing the total to at least 66 million dead trees. Four consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and warmer temperatures are leading to historic levels of tree die-off.

Between 2010 and late 2015, Forest Service aerial detection surveys found that 40 million trees died across California - with nearly three quarters of that total succumbing to drought and insect mortality from September 2014 to October 2015 alone. The survey identified approximately 26 million additional dead trees since the last inventory in October, 2015. The areas surveyed in May covered six southern Sierra counties including Fresno, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Tuolumne and Tulare. Photos and video of the May survey are available on the Forest Service multimedia webpage.

Last fall, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency on the unprecedented tree die-off in California and formed a Tree Mortality task force to help mobilize additional resources for the safe removal of dead and dying trees. The Forest Service is committing significant resources to restore impacted forests including reprioritizing $32 million in California to conduct safety-focused restoration along roads, trails and recreation sites. To date, the Forest Service has felled over 77,000 hazard trees, treated over 13,000 acres along 228 miles of roads around communities and recreation sites, and created 1,100 acres of fuel breaks. Work on another 15,000 acres is in progress.

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Quick Supply/A.S.P. Acquire Bowman Construction

Quick Supply Co./A.S.P. Enterprises announced that it has acquired the assets of Bowman Construction Supply, Inc., a leading supplier of specialty building materials headquartered in Denver, CO. Bowman has strong relationships with over 40 manufacturers and offers thousands of unique products to help owners and design professionals evaluate material options and select the appropriate products for projects throughout the Rocky Mountain States. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Ken Kinnard, Chief Operating Officer of Bowman, commented “We are pleased to be partnering with Quick Supply Co./A.S.P. Enterprises to be able to take full advantage of our combined markets’ growth potential, maintain outstanding professional relationships fostered throughout the specialty building materials ecosystem and provide continued quality products and services to customers.”

Mike Hale, Vice President of Quick Supply Co./A.S.P. Enterprises, stated “Our family of companies is excited about the acquisition of Bowman and looks forward to teaming with their high quality employees to help expand our geographic footprint and enhance our product offerings.”

BCC Advisers, a Des Moines, Iowa based investment banking firm, advised Quick Supply Co./A.S.P. Enterprises (the buyer) on the transaction.

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Hanes Geo Expands in Texas

Winston Salem, NC-based Hanes Geo Components is acquiring Hill Country Site Supply. The move was announced in an August 15 release. Hill has primarily focused its distribution of erosion and sediment control products in Texas.

Hanes Geo, with the backing of its parent company Leggett & Platt, includes the acquisition in its long-term strategy of expansion in the North American market. The company is dedicated to geotextile and erosion control products. Acquisitions have been a large part of the company’s growth to date. Hanes’s product portfolio includes TerraTex geotextiles, which have been in the marketplace for 25+ years.

The company also offers its branded TerraGrid® and producer trade-named products, Inlet Pro® Sediment Bags and other stormwater management solutions, and much more. Market focus points include transportation (AASHTO M288, NTPEP, state DOTs) and US Army Corp of Engineers-related projects.

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Erie County Town Receives $172,000 EPA Funding For Green Infrastructure to Improve Water Quality in Lake Erie

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $172,125 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to the Town of Evans, New York to fund green infrastructure projects to improve water quality entering Lake Erie. The town will use these funds to install rain gardens and bioswales, which are tracts of land designed to manage drainage, in Evans Town Park to reduce bacteria at the beach and prevent approximately 221,000 gallons of untreated stormwater from reaching Lake Erie. In 2014, the Evans Town Park beach was closed on 31 days of the 66-day beach season due to water pollution occurrences.

Evans will use the $172,125 grant to install two rain gardens and two vegetated bioswales in the Town Park to reduce discharges of untreated stormwater runoff to the local channel in the park that flows directly into Lake Erie. In addition, these green infrastructure projects should help reduce the number of beach closings at the park’s beach caused by bacteria, nutrients and other contaminants.

The town of Evans will hold a public meeting early in the design process to seek public input on the design of the rain gardens and bioswales.

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Michael Baker International Promotes Anna Lantin to Regional Director of the West

Michael Baker International, a global leader in engineering, planning and consulting services, announced that Anna Lantin, senior vice president and practice lead – Water, has been promoted to senior vice president and regional director of the company’s West Region. Michael Baker’s West Region consists of Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. In her new role, Ms. Lantin will be responsible for all facets of regional leadership, including: client satisfaction; marketing; business development; resource allocation and acquisition; talent management and development; and the overall efficiency and profitability of Michael Baker in the region.

An industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience, Ms. Lantin joined Michael Baker in 1998. While at Michael Baker, Ms. Lantin strengthened the firm’s technical expertise and capabilities related to stormwater management, water/wastewater, water quality, ecosystem restoration and coastal engineering to ensure innovative project delivery.

Outside of Michael Baker, Ms. Lantin has taken on many leadership roles in multiple professional organizations, including: the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); Transportation Research Board; American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials; California Stormwater Quality Association; and the Water Environmental Federation. She has received numerous awards and nominations from ASCE, state and national associations, and The National Academies of Sciences and Engineering for her technical contributions.

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