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180FW Hosts BASH Team Visit

The unique wetland environment on and surrounding airfield at the 180th Fighter Wing
Photo By Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker

SWANTON, OH, UNITED STATES
Story by Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker
180th Fighter Wing Ohio National Guard

Wildlife-related incidents were documented as the leading cause of F-16 fighter jet mishaps in the first quarter of 2017.

In an effort to mitigate impact to the mission and maximize the safety of pilots, aircraft and the abundant local-area wildlife, the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, hosted a Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard team visit, April 13, 2017, to assess potential bird and other wildlife hazards located on and around the airfield at Toledo Express Airport in Swanton, Ohio.

ERS is selected as Air National Guard BASH Program Contract

ERS was selected as the prime consultant for the Air National Guard's Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) contract.  ERS teamed with DeTect, Inc. and sole proprietor, Robert Dogan, to provide the Air National Guard (ANG) with a depth of resources and expertise to complete installation site visits, written BASH assessments, BASH plans and updates. 

The team provides multiple qualified airport wildlife biologists, commercial service and military wildlife hazard management experience, avian radar expertise, and a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) training accident investigator. 

The team will begin BASH site visits and plan updates at ANG facilities across the country in early 2016 

Did you do your due diligence?

Several times a year ERS receives telephone calls from property owners who have been referred to us by clients or regulatory agencies, to assist with newly discovered wetland issues on their sites. The callers explain that they recently purchased a property and that they now have been told that the site includes or entirely consists of wetlands. The information that the property owners received after buying the site is usually correct - their recently purchased sites do include jurisdictional wetlands. 
 
In instances where the wetland is small and out of the way of proposed development, it may be of little real consequence (other than the owner having paid too much for the property). However, in other cases, the location and extent of the wetland often interfere with the property owner’s desired use of the site. When the wetland is consequential to land use, the owner has three choices: (1) modify their site plan to avoid wetland impacts (and wetlands permitting/mitigation), (2) apply for a permit to impact the wetland or (3), in extreme cases, abandon their project altogether. Regardless of their decision, the wetland usually interferes with their original plan, and time and money are required to solve the problems posed by the wetland.
 
Fortunately, the above scenario does not play out for people who are familiar with land development issues. They (and their lenders) protect themselves by undertaking “due diligence” with respect to wetlands and protected species issues (as well as zoning, contamination, concurrency, utilities, drainage title issues, etc.), prior to purchasing land. Due diligence identifies development constraints specific to a site and explains the process of overcoming temporary obstacles.
 
The term used for the ERS due diligence service which identifies wetlands occurrence/ nonoccurrence and the likelihood of protected species occurrence on prospective project sites is Preliminary Environmental Assessment. These assessments include ground-truthed wetlands mapping, sensitive habitat mapping, protected species occurrence information, and a discussion of the regulatory processes affecting the property in question. The assessments identify land development constraints, permitting implications and available solutions, allowing our clients to make informed decisions. 
 
Please call us to learn more about how our preliminary assessment work can benefit your land purchase and land use decisions.