ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING STRATEGIES, INC. AND PATHWAY CONSULTING SERVICE, LLC INTEGRATED PLANNING AND REVIEW™
Robert Cunningham and Pathway Consulting Service, LLC has the expertise to assist your strategic project planning, NEPA, and permitting
Robert Cunningham, Principal of Pathway Consulting Service, LLC, has over 40 years experience in directing and managing complex national, multi-agency policies and programs and is nationally recognized for his expertise in resolving complex and politically charged local, regional, and national issues in the use of federal lands under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA).
Bob led national efforts to improve NEPA while serving in the Executive Office of the President, as Branch Chief for NEPA implementation, and as Assistant and Acting Director for Land and Realty Management in the national office of the Forest Service.
While representing the US Department of Agriculture, Bob was one of three charter members of the steering committee of the President’s Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT) and ex-officio member of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s (WECC) Steering Committee for long-range scenario planning for the electric transmission grid in the west.
Developed and implemented USDA federal-land policy and direction for electric transmission, renewable energy development (wind energy directives), cost recovery, land uses (summer homes, utilities, and telecommunication sites), and hydropower licensing. Resolved complex national, regional, and local natural resource issues among divergent interests in statewide, regional and national offices of the Forest Service.
Principal author of the Forest Service’s 2000 land and resource management planning regulations (National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976 (P.L. 94-588)) achieved through project direction and successful negotiations among senior officials in Departments of Agriculture, Interior, and Justice; Office of Management and Budget (OMB); the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ); and several federal regulatory agencies, including over 10,000 public comments.
Participating author of the nine-agency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for electric transmission crossing federal land, representing the US Department of Agriculture.
Completed Designation of Energy Corridors in 11 Western States as USDA project manager of multi-Departmental planning initiative under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Achieved favorable settlement agreement of multi-party federal litigation.
Developed and published NEPA regulations for the Valles Caldera National Preserve, implementing an ISO 14001 and adaptive management project-planning model.
Revised Forest Service Hydropower licensing policy and procedure sharpening the scope of acceptable mitigation measures and elimination of the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements when proffering Forest Service licensing conditions to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), saving several million dollars per year. Litigation proved successful.
Developed and implemented an aggressive international environmental compliance and waste management program for the United States’ scientific research and education program in Antarctica. The program enhanced environmental performance of the National Science Foundation (NSF), enabling the Foundation to win national and international recognition for stewardship Antarctica and gain Congressional authority to administer U.S. Antarctic environmental law and international treaties for environmentally responsible use of Antarctica’s natural resources.
Judith Lee, Environmental Planning Strategies, Inc. has experience, proficiency and expertise in many sectors and skills to assist you with your strategic integrated and interdisciplinary project and program planning, NEPA, and permitting requirements accomplishments.
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Led National Forest Team of 14 specialists in the development of a complex multi-year timber sale and natural resource management plan meeting multiple objectives using silvicultural prescriptions for timber outputs, creating old growth forest conditions, and spotted owl and elk winter habitat. The integrated planning principles developed and implemented by the team facilitated by Judith enabled the team to focus issues, meet specific objectives, and create unique timber stand silvicultural prescriptions that provided continuous timber output for multiple years.
In less than a year and a half, initiated, drafted, and published for public comment a programmatic EA (PEA) for USDA for funding of broadband and wireless internet infrastructure to rural underserved areas nationwide. The PEA provides impact analyses for all broadband and wireless technologies, including an analysis of EMF, incorporates mitigation, and provides resources for agency applicants for understanding federal agency NEPA and permitting regulations and processes, cultural resource consultation, availability of useful databases and guidance for tiering project-level NEPA to the PEA. We also conducted extensive telephone and on-site surveys of broadband applicants, consultants, and industry representatives, and federal agency consultation and permitting personnel to understand the obstacles involved in efficient approval, consultations, and permitting of broadband projects for rural areas.
After 5 years of effort to control wild deer within the airfield interfering with mission-critical aircraft operations and creating dangerous conditions at a major Air Force Base, Facilitated Planning Approach™ and Informed Facilitation™ over four months engaged needed airfield operations and safety personnel to develop permanent solutions using an adaptive management approach that met all legal (NEPA) and long-term operational requirements. The Base operational and safety personnel who worked on the EA won recognition by the Base Commander for outstanding performance.
Two adjacent Indian Reservations received considerable federal funding to control prairie dogs to benefit livestock grazing. Through the Facilitated Planning Approach™, a detailed environmental review demonstrated the most cost effective and environmentally sound means for meeting Tribal economic objectives was for prairie dogs and improved livestock grazing management to coexist. The integrated planning analyses enabled each Tribal government to act and meet all legal requirements.
The Facilitated Planning Approach™ enabled Holloman Air Force Base staff to integrate the training and testing requirements for over 20 base operations for a first time ever comprehensive base operations and management plan. In addition to completing the work on time and within budget, the plan guided environmentally sound base operations coordinated among military and civilian base operations. This was integrated into the base Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP), simultaneously facilitated by Judith Lee.
For over a decade, several minority low-income communities in the Low Country of South Carolina endured failing on-site septic systems. Requests for development grants met opposition from landowners fearful that an improved sanitation system would induce unwanted growth and adversely affect property valuation. Through Informed Facilitation™, staff of the Georgetown Water and Sewer District developed all necessary reviews and public involvement within three weeks, firmly demonstrating the extreme need the project and lack of negative impacts, overcoming strong resistance from a well-funded few opponents. The USDA Rural Development granted project improvements, including public buildings and schools.
Partnering with project managers at a California District of the Army Corps of Engineers, assisted with developing and implementing strategic planning for a major EIS for a channel deepening in an extremely sensitive watershed with water availability issues for agriculture and endangered species. Through consistent analytic review and integration of many reports and drafts of the EIS, focusing the analysis on project-specific cause-and-effect relationships, and conducting a detailed analysis of the need for the action, the Corps was able to ultimately defer the proposed action based on lack of demonstrated need and potentially unacceptable impacts to water quality, water availability, and endangered species.
Using the Facilitated Planning Approach™ and Informed Facilitation™ intensively, repeatedly facilitated subject matter professionals at the National Marine Fisheries Service Fisheries Science Center through analysis and concurrent programmatic NEPA documentation for seven research programs, including fisheries bycatch management, endangered species recovery, reaching 75%-90% completion of programmatic EAs in one week each.
Using Dialogue of Understanding Creating a Common Language workshops, facilitated improved relationships and increased understanding of challenges and decision making processes with the US Army Corps of Engineers, several State DOTs, US Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Marine Fisheries Service, and US State Department.
For more information on additional services provided by Environmental Planning Strategies, Inc related to planning, NEPA, the Facilitated Planning Process and Informed Facilitation, environmental and planning document review, conflict resolution, and NEPA applied to many sectors, please see www.jlee-eps.com