Our Services

Grand Environmental Services


Helping people in the Colorado high country work around, in, and under water

River Corridor Restoration and Sustainability

Environmental Assessment, Design, and Construction Team Support

Frequently Asked Questions

How can Grand Environmental help me?

We help manage projects in, around, and under water.  Our involvement is often triggered by the need for a special authorization, such as a Corps “404 Wetland Permit” before construction can begin; other times we help clarify aquatic resources during land transfer or land use planning.  Whatever your situation, we’ll do our best to reduce project risk while helping you achieve your project goals in a cost-effective, conscientious manner.  Typical deliverables include environmental assessments and wetland delineations, project design and permit applications, technical oversight, and compliance oversight.

Grand County can be a difficult place to work, with a short construction season, difficult weather and terrain, and highly visible aquatic settings.  Give us a call for a free consultation; we’ve been working here for 25 years and love to help with unsolved challenges.

Why would I need a wetland permit?

Local building authorities look closely at projects in and around streams, lakes, and that lush band of vegetation flanking water bodies we call “wetlands.”  Part of this is to help folks avoid expensive SNAFUs but also because the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) requires wetland permits under Section 404 of the Clean water Act for project impacts on “Waters of the US.”

It’s not as bad as it sounds – the Corps offers more than 50 streamlined permits we process regularly – from boathouses (gotta be on the water), to driveways (sometimes gotta cross wetlands), to trout habitat (permit required) associated with agricultural headgates (generally exempt from permitting). We do all we can to expedite your permitting processes, often recommending minor changes in footprint or engineering to reduce red (green) tape.

Can I impact wetlands?

Sure, with proper authorization, all sorts of things happen in wetlands including boathouses, docks, boat ramps, roads and bridges, water and sewer lines, trails and boardwalks, municipal water intakes, trout habitat, hydropower facilities, etc.  Design in wetlands is generally more difficult than upland areas, that’s why we work so closely with contractors, engineers, architects, and the Corps of Engineers to minimize expensive SNAFUs.

What do wetlands look like?

“Wetlands are areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.” – Definition of wetlands as used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In the spring, wetlands are usually quite wet (frogs, etc.) but later in the season they can dry out. Typically wetlands have a distinctive community of vegetation including willows, cattails, coarse grasses, sometimes orchids, and generally a lot of vegetation/leaves etc. on the ground due to extra water, and deep, dark, funky soils.

Why should I care?

Wetlands are an essential element of a healthy landscape and critical to local water quality.  Beyond that, there are lots of personal, moral, and financial reasons to care.  Maybe you’re being required to provide a Wetland Delineation Map so you can prove you are avoiding wetlands, or to minimize impacts to the wetlands in your project area.  We can help you save a lot of $$$ by not getting “bogged down” in wetlands (figuratively or literally).  Perhaps the best reason of all, wetlands are an important property asset offering a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape, better fishing, and important habitat for songbirds, waterfowl (sorry about the geese), moose, otters, elk, and other wildlife.

What does conservation land management entail?

Our experience in permitting, water rights, and ecological restoration fit well with conservation-minded land management.  Typical due-diligence work includes fish-friendly water diversions, ditch maintenance, and re-configuring stream channels to sub-irrigate adjacent hay fields.  We’re also excited to be part of the growing trend toward restoring agricultural production on conservation properties, often tapping grant funding to find a healthy, wildlife-friendly balance including riparian fencing, wildlife habitat enhancement, and beaver deceivers.  We help landowners plan, protect, maintain, restore, and/or improve their property’s native ecosystems.  Investing in your property’s natural health improves the quality of life and property value. Call us for a free consultation – Joy gets excited about wildlife related work.

Profile (proud) Geoff Elliott

Geoff S. Elliott

Owner, Senior Project Scientist

Contact Us

Contact us by calling or texting 970-509-0199

Meet Our Partners

Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating

Grand Lake Plumbing

Providing Over 90 Years of Legendary Service For Grand County, Including the communities of Winter Park and Fraser

Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating provides homeowners in Grand county with complete plumbing, water treatment, heating, indoor air quality and drain cleaning services. We’re looking forward to providing you with our legendary service and superior products.  Go to our website www.grandlakeplumbing.com to learn more!

Hillary Mizia, PriZm Sustainability

Hillary Mizia, PriZm Sustainability

PriZm Sustainability has been guiding, partnering, and helping to create meaningful change in the world of sustainability since 2006. Based in Fort Collins, CO, PriZm provides advisory, facilitation, public speaking, and writing services to a wide range of clients. Principal and Founder Hillary Mizia brings nearly two decades of experience in business, government, non-profits, and grassroots movements to her work, allowing for a depth of understanding that’s hard to match. Learn more at www.PriZmSustainability.com

Ryan Lokteff, Divide Environmental and Mapping (DEM)

Ryan Lokteff, Divide Environmental and Mapping (DEM)

Divide Environmental and Mapping (DEM) provides geospatial services including spatial analysis, geoprocessing, GPS services, and map document creation.  Our environmental services are focused on water monitoring including stream temperature, water clarity, aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling, and water chemistry.  Past geospatial projects include automated watershed delineation and watershed spatial statistics through python, sample design prep, and map creation for the National Aquatic Monitoring Center (aka BugLab).  DEM has also created maps for the Upper Colorado River Watershed Group (UCRWG), Outstanding Grand Lake (OGL), and the Fraser River Source Water Protection Partnership. Past environmental projects include stream temperature, aquatic macroinvertebrate, lake clarity, and water quality monitoring across Grand County, CO.

Dave Lively

Dave Lively, Lively Tours and Talks

Lively Tours and Talks is proud to be a Project Partner with Grand Environmental Services. Dave Lively, a local historian, delves into the background of older structures to establish an opinion of the potential eligibility for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. This is followed with completion of a Historic Resource Review culminating from the in-depth research, fieldwork, and analysis of the site and structures. Please go to www.DaveLively.com for more information.

Tiffany Gatesman

Tiffany Gatesman

Tiffany is an environmental chemist specializing in hydro-geochemistry, education and outreach.  Her natural resource experience includes land management, scientific research, high school education, recreation and agriculture.  She has worked for both County and Federal Governments throughout the country as well as Middle Park High School and local businesses in Grand County.  She obtained her B.S. in Water and Soil Resource Management at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.  She attended the University of Alaska – Fairbanks to study glacier runoff contribution to lowland stream flow for her Masters of Science thesis in Environmental Chemistry.  Tiffany’s previous research included impacts of urban runoff on bio-retention basins (rain-garden) and land use impacts on urban-mountain streams in Guatemala.

Ken Fucik

Ken Fucik

Mr. Fucik has been practicing as an environmental professional specializing in water quality issues since 1972.  Over the course of his career, Mr. Fucik was involved in environmental projects  across the U.S. and abroad.  These projects were conducted in freshwater and terrestrial environments including desert, montane, and rainforest habitats.  He has also worked in marine and coastal ecosystems in boreal, temperate and tropical environments.  From 1988 to 2007, Mr. Fucik owned and operated aquatic toxicology and analytical chemistry labs in Colorado, Texas, and Peru.  He has authored numerous scientific papers dealing with the fate and effects of pollutants in freshwater and aquatic ecosystems.  He has provided expert witness testimony in environmental damage claims in both the U.S. and abroad.  Mr. Fucik was an appointee to the Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group and is a member of the steering committee initiating the Upper Colorado River Watershed Group.  He was a member of the Boulder County Board of Health including two terms as President where he provided expertise to the department on environmental matters.  Mr. Fucik is retired and currently spends time consulting on development of a web-based GIS tool to support environmental monitoring, compliance and asset management.

Paul Harrington, Harrington Landscapes

Paul Harrington, Harrington Landscapes