Heather has been assisting clients with environmental regulatory compliance strategies for their most important projects and programs for over 18 years. She is widely recognized for her skill in leading multidisciplinary teams in the efficient preparation of legally defensible compliance documents pursuant to federal, state, and local environmental regulations, including CEQA, NEPA, the California Fish and Game Code, and the federal Endangered Species Act. During her career, she has managed or otherwise contributed to a variety of projects, including statewide analyses of regulatory programs promulgated by the California legislature, highly controversial infrastructure projects related to energy generation and transmission, prison redevelopment, water resources development, resource extraction, communications projects, and campus development.
She leads Ascent’s wildfire and forest resilience practice. In this role, Heather applies her expertise to helping the State of California achieve its goals for increasing the pace and scale of vegetation treatment to reduce wildfire risk and promote forest resilience and expediting implementation of beneficial habitat restoration projects for climate resilience. In addition, she manages large on-call environmental services contracts for government agencies responsible for procuring and transmitting electricity throughout California and the southwestern United States.
Heather’s experience includes the following:
- Serving as project manager for preparation and implementation of the statewide Program EIR for the California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP), which is identified in California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan as a cornerstone in the state’s strategy to address the wildfire crisis.
- Serving as program manager for on-call environmental services contracts for clients including the Western Area Power Administration’s Sierra Nevada and Desert Southwest Regions, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Lands Commission, and California Public Utilities Commission.
- Managing and conducting environmental analysis of over 2,500 miles of transmission lines, more than a dozen substations, and hundreds of linear feet of natural gas pipelines.
- Serving as an extension of California Energy Commission staff and providing expert witness testimony in the analysis of biological resource impacts for more than 15 solar thermal or natural gas–fired power plants.
- Serving as curriculum contributor and presenter for AEP’s CEQA Essentials and Advanced CEQA Workshops.
When she’s not working, you’ll find Heather outside with her family and likely in the water. She’ll be working in her garden, where she loves to grow tomatoes, hiking in the Sierras, or swimming or paddling in any nearby waterbody.