Support Great Basin Institute in Serving Public Lands in the West

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NEPA Services

Great Basin Institute provides NEPA services to increase the pace and scale of public land management projects by supporting planning and resource assessments required to support the NEPA/CEQA permitting process.  GBI provides dedicated NEPA teams that work across agencies to facilitate prioritized project to rapidly respond to planning needs at a landscape scale. Annual planning meetings with agencies, and with collaborative and stakeholder groups, support a program of work that anticipates the need and range of technical assistance required. GBI utilizes agency cooperative agreements, subcontracting, while also developing general service agreements for non-federal entities to execute timely and effective NEPA deliverables.



In recent years, GBI has scaled support for several post-fire planning needs for the US Forest Service.  In 2022-23, the Sequoia, Inyo, Eldorado, Plumas, and Lassen National Forests have entered into agreements to provide specialist support and scoping services for Categorical Exclusions, Environmental Assessments, and Environmental Impact Statements to address post-fire needs after the Castle, Beckworth, Dixie, Caldor, French, Windy, KNP Complex, and Mosquito Fires, many of which comprise some of the largest wildfires in the history of the region.



GBI prepares federal and state environmental documents required by NEPA and CEQA, including the following services and environmental compliance documents:

  • Initial Studies (ISs), Negative Declarations (NDs), and Mitigated Negative Declarations (MNDs)
  • Preliminary Environmental Assessments (PEAs)
  • Environmental Assessments (EAs)
  • Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSIs)
  • Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)
  • Environmental Impact Reports (CEQA)

GBI is especially adept at preparing joint federal/state environmental documents with multiple-agency jurisdictions, including joint EIR/EISs and joint EA/ISs.


Mark holds a Bachelor of Science from Kent State University, a Master in Education from Vanderbilt University, and two Master of Science degrees in Environmental and Natural Resource Science and Land Use Planning from the University of Nevada, Reno. Since 1987, Mr. Demuth has directed numerous environmental compliance/NEPA projects throughout the western US.

At UNR, Mark teaches Environmental Policy and Law creating an upper-division course on NEPA that he has been teaching since 2006. Mark supports GBI NEPA project coordination across Region 5 of the US Forest Service.

John Umek, PhD., University of Nevada, Reno (2015) supports GBI water resources program and is Assistant Research Professor with the Desert Research Institute and has 18 years of experience in aquatic ecology, water quality monitoring, and natural resource management. He is experienced with a range of statistical methods, numerical modeling, and working with invasive and endangered aquatic organisms. He has extensive field surveying and water quality monitoring experience. Current and former projects include working on an interdisciplinary NSF project focused on springs biota structure and condition across the Southern Great Basin, impacts to springs overtime in the Eastern Great Basin and Lahontan Cutthroat trout movement in Central Nevada.

Sean Simpson, MA, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno (2010) is the Institute’s Senior Consulting Archeologist and has expertise in NEPA compliance inventories for mining, gas, oil and communication infrastructure on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service public lands across Nevada, Washington and Oregon. Mr. Simpson has performed archaeological inventories and architectural assessments of irrigation and bridge features for the Army Corps of Engineers and has expertise and extensive experience in completing district evaluations of historic mining districts in central and northern Nevada, including Manhattan, Kinsley, Rochester, Yerington, Pine Grove, Rockland, Fairview, and Bell Mountain mining districts.

  • M.S. in Ecology from U.C. Davis in 2017
  • B.S. in Ecology and Wildlife at Western State Colorado University in 2009


Preston Alden has worked on wildlife research and conservation projects for over 15 years. He has also served as Program Director at Gateway Mountain Center, a nonprofit that integrates the natural sciences with outdoor adventure experiences In the intervening years between his degrees he worked on, and managed, a number of remote wildlife research projects including Channel Island Fox biology with CSU Fort Collins and Humboldt State University, as well as the Sierra Nevada Red Fox project with UC Davis and the CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife. Preston brings both his technical expertise and passion for public lands conservation to his work with the Basin and Range Forestry and NEPA Services Programs at the Great Basin Institute. He is currently focused on post-fire restoration projects throughout the Sierra Nevada with a particular interest in Pacific Fisher and Sierra Nevada Red Fox.

  • B.S. in Natural Resource Management from University of Nevada, Reno in 2002


Kate Walker started her career in the Great Basin and Sierras with the Forest Service in 2001. Her experience working with multiple land management agencies over her career ranges from writing environmental planning documents, to surveying for and managing rare and invasive plant populations in support of projects such as forest health, hazardous fuels reduction, and developed recreation. She has experience collaborating with interagency teams on ecological restoration projects, and writing rapid habitat assessment protocols for state-wide management planning.

  • Graduate Certificate in GIS from West Virginia University anticipated Fall 2023
  • M.S. in Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Technological University in 2019
  • B.A. in History from West Virginia State University in 2015


Tyler Allen has worked as a Park Service Historian with the Historical American Engineering Report (HAER), but has spent most of his professional career working for the Forest Service as an Archaeologist. Tyler started his Forest Service career working on the Daniel Boone National Forest and then went out west to the Lassen National Forest. Most recently, he was the Assistant District Archaeologist out of Eagle Lake. Additionally, he has worked extensively as a Fire Archaeologist and Resource Advisor throughout Northern California.

  • M.A. from the Texas State University in 1992

  • B.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1990


Jerry Keir is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute. For the past 22 years, Keir has taught and directed interdisciplinary research and field studies throughout the Intermountain West, Central Pacific Mexico, and Costa Rica. Keir has extensive experience managing diverse research and monitoring initiatives, as well as leading collaborative conservation projects at a landscape scale.


  • Initial Studies (ISs), Negative Declarations (NDs), and Mitigated Negative Declarations (MNDs)
  • Preliminary Environmental Assessments (PEAs)
  • Environmental Assessments (EAs)
  • Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSIs)
  • Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)
  • Environmental Impact Reports (CEQA)
  • Environmental Impact Statements (NEPA)
  • Scoping Reports
  • Alternative Screening Reports
  • Supplemental and Subsequent Impact Analysis
  • Programmatic Analysis
  • Agency Coordination
  • Decision Support
  • Baseline Field Studies – Biological Resources
  • Cultural Resources / Cultural Heritage / Archaeology
  • Digital Analyses, and Data Conveyance for Impact Assessment
  • Ecological Design, Implementation and Restoration
  • Environmental Planning, Mitigation, and Monitoring
  • Environmental Policy Development
  • Regulatory Permitting and Negotiation
  • Siting, Project Feasibility, Permitting Strategy, and Scalable Program Management
  • Stakeholder/ Public Engagement and Outreach, including Social Media