Common ground, uncommon solutions | SierraSun.com

Common ground, uncommon solutions

Nick Cruit
Sierra Sun

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunMichael Hogan of Intergrated Environmental Restoration Services uses a cone penetrometer to measure soil density on an decommissioned road at Homewood Mountain Resort Tuesday. Intergrated Environmental Restoration Services have worked on a watershed improvement program at the resort for the last 3 years mapping out the watershed and current roads decommissioning those that help release sediment into creeks.

TAHOE CITY ” In the world of fast-growing companies, environmental research groups tend to be the underdogs fighting for a cause, but as Inc. magazine sees it, Tahoe City’s Integrated Environmental Restoration Services is plotting a different course.

In their second annual list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in America, Inc. ranked Integrated Environmental 365th overall, second among all environmental service companies.

The rankings that appeared in Inc.’s September issue are based on the percentage of a company’s revenue growth from 2004 to 2007.

“We feel honored and lucky but it hasn’t validated what we’re about” said Founder Michael Hogan. “We’re about getting work done.”

From their humble beginning of two employees in 1995, Integrated Environmental has grown to employee 22 people who help connect research with practices relating to erosion control and water quality protection in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

According to Hogan, Integrated Environmental combines a field understanding of soil and erosion control with the research level understanding to quantify the results.

Recommended Stories For You

“I think combining these things and quantifying the results is extremely unique in our field,” said Hogan. “We minimize the arm waving and maximize the data focus, thus minimizing arguments and disagreements.

Integrated Environmental began research by implementing test plots around the Tahoe Basin. As monitoring and research capacity expanded they began a series of research partnerships with UC Davis, Caltrans, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, various land managers, and ski resorts.

Since 2007, Integrated Environmental has continued to expand, facilitating environmental protection for land managers and keeping up with ongoing construction, research and development, and monitoring efforts around the area.

“We have seen our work change the way entities do business, from Caltrans to the U.S. Forest Service to ski resorts to individual citizens,” said Hogan. “And in increasing understanding, we help empower ourselves and others with the information we/they need to make better decisions.”

Hogan hopes Integrated Environmental will continue to fill environmental improvement and protection needs into the future, sharing what they learn with others and growing into areas where they are needed.

“We understand that the environment underpins everything we do,” said Hogan. “The weak links in addressing our environmental concerns and issues are often a lack of adequate information.”