Robert J. Goldstein & Associates, Inc.
Environmental and Ecological Consultants Since 1985

Recent Projects – Conservation Planning, Ordinance Development, and Biological Surveys

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Marantha

Environmental Assessment and Planning Guide for Chatham Northwest District Park (Chatham County, NC)


Chatham County purchased the former Camp Maranatha Springs property for use as a new County park.  RJG&A investigated the 118 acre property for natural habitats, wetlands, streams, and potential rare species habitats, and prepared an Environmental Planning Guide (EPG) for park planners to use in siting new facilities (ballfields, camping sites, trails, buildings, roads, parking).  At a public charrette, we assisted staff with design considerations to protect sensitive and important natural and cultural features, and prepared an Environmental Assessment of park construction and operation activities based on the selected park design and proposed uses.   We provided feedback to McGill Associates, who provided the engineering services for the project.

Ellerbe Watershed

Ellerbe Creek Critical Area Protection Plan (Durham County, NC)

RJG&A developed a GIS decision support system (DSS) to identify high-priority conservation sites in the Ellerbe Creek watershed.  Variables included in the DSS include current land cover, risk for development, connectivity to existing greenways/parks, and habitat value with an overall goal of creating a ribbon of protected lands throughout the watershed.  Our engineering partner was Brown and Caldwell.

slopesChatham County Natural Resources and Steep Slope Protection Standards (Chatham County, NC)

RJG&A developed a new optional Conservation Subdivision Ordinance for Chatham County’s Planning and Environmental Resources staff in response to concerns about available performance standards that protect steep slopes and important natural areas county-wide.  RJG&A developed priority and secondary conservation areas for Chatham County using existing reports and discussions with the NC Natural Heritage Program (NHP), NC Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).  This Conservation Subdivision option preserves at least 40 percent of land area exclusive of wetlands and riparian buffers as green space, exceeding NC WRC recommendations.  The County will enforce similar constraints on developers who decline the conservation subdivision option by incorporating its requirements into current subdivision and erosion control ordinances. RJG&A presented its recommendations to the County Planning staff and Environmental Review Board in September, 2008; the recommendations were approved in December 2008 by the Board of Commissioners.  Stearns and Wheler-GHD provided engineering services.

CFS Cape Fear Shiner Survey (Central North Carolina)

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission contracted RJG&A to conduct a survey and status update of the Federally Endangered Cape Fear shiner, endemic to a small area in the eastern Piedmont region of NC. A summary report on population status, threats, and conservation priorities was submitted to NC WRC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

TNCGIS Analysis for Land Acquisition by The Nature Conservancy (Piedmont and Coastal North Carolina)

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) hired RJG&A to provide an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) as part of TNC's due diligence prior to completing the purchases of nearly 90,000 acres of land in North Carolina from International Paper, Inc.  RJG&A prepared the ESA reports based on existing documentation, interviews with knowledgeable individuals, and GIS analysis. This work enabled us to target only specific locations that required formal site investigations. The properties that were acquired spanned portions of 12 Piedmont and Coastal Plain counties in North Carolina. 

MCAS Cherry Point Biological Assessments for all Federally Protected and Rare Species (Carteret and Craven Counties, NC)

RJG&A provided a Biological Assessment (BA) under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for each federally protected species on three MCAS Cherry Point land holdings. The properties comprise more than 14,200 acres in Carteret and Craven Counties of North Carolina The purpose of the BAs was to analyze the interaction between the forest management program and ongoing military activities on all three properties, and the potential occurrence and abundance of protected species. The process involved identifying habitats, analyzing existing and projecting future land usage, and generating recommendations for both each species individually and for the base properties as a whole. Considerations included active air strips, shared boundaries with marine and estuarine waters, hunting and recreational uses, development pressures and trends, forest management, pest control activities, and land use plans. The assessments were prepared based entirely on existing literature reviews, interviews with Federal, State, and local experts, and extensive GIS analysis. Full BAs were prepared for nine Federally Threatened and Endangered species, and comprehensive reports were prepared for an additional 25 species listed as rare. 

Densons Creek Conservation Corridor, Clean Water Management Trust Fund Grants (Montgomery County, NC)

RJG&A assisted the Town of Troy in developing a Nature Park and a contiguous network of protected riparian buffers with greenway trails in Montgomery County, NC. We delineated streams, wetlands, and natural communities on the Town’s former reservoir property, now the Roy Maness Nature Preserve, and investigated riparian corridors upstream and downstream of the park along Densons Creek and Little River to identify segments where riparian buffers could be acquired and protected. We prepared six grant applications to the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) for land acquisition, park development, wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) improvements, and wastewater land application, all of which were funded at 75 percent or more of the requested amount.