This is a Request for a Proposal (RFP) inviting qualified firms to submit proposals to complete habitat restoration services (described below) on property owned by Minnesota Valley Lands, Inc. within the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge’s Rapids Lake Unit in Carver, Minnesota.
It is REQUIRED that Contractors attend one of the following on-site visits before submitting their quotes. Meetings will be held at the Rapids Lake hunter parking lot (https://goo.gl/maps/9W5QDETkwGgFUzii9) from:
- 10 a.m.-noon on October 28, 2019 or
- 10 a.m.-noon on November 5, 2019.
The Minnesota Land Trust seeks proposals for restoring oak savanna and prairie habitat on the Rapids Lake Unit in Carver, Minnesota. This project is guided by the Refuge Habitat Management Plan, which dictates that priority is given to enhancing oak savanna remnants by removing woody species other than scattered, mature bur oaks. Additionally, the Plan provides guidance to thin out the oak woodlands in this area by removing invasive and undesirable tree species and to feather these habitats into each other to allow a more gradual delineation. As both of these habitats occur on areas with sensitive vegetation and steep slopes, the Service Provider must take the utmost care during tree removal operations. A mandatory site visit for all interested Proposers will be held on the dates above, which will allow all to walk the site with the Project Managers and ask questions. Proposals must be as accurate and as thorough as possible.
Contractors will be held to their bid price limit unless major unforeseen circumstances develop on site. Most measurements in the plans are best estimates based on onsite surveys and mapping. Quotes must include any mobilization or other related fees.
Minnesota Land Trust will be contracting for this job. The project will be managed on-the- ground by Mike Malling of USFWS, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Wetland Management District. Contact Haley Golz at Minnesota Land Trust with contract-related questions.
- Prior to starting the work at this site, the contractor must inform both Mike Malling and Haley Golz at least 24 hours in advance.
Services to be provided
The services for bid include habitat restoration on approximately 10 acres of varied topography. This will include:
- Fence removal and disposal of wire/posts offsite.
- Selective tree clearing, forwarding cut material to buffer zone, and treating cut stumps with Triclopyr and marking dye (e.g., Element 4 Ultra or Garlon 4 Ultra).
- Bid the project in two ways:
- Piling and burning the material onsite.
- Chipping and hauling the material offsite.
- An ill-maintained barbed wire fence exists between the buffer zone and the Savanna Zone in intermittent sections. This fence and all fence material removed from project site.
- Trees with wire running through them will be removed from site, EXCLUDING bur oak trees. Wire running through a bur oak tree should be cut flush to the bark of the tree.
- Trees removed in this process that are either along the fence line or have wire running will have cut stumps treated immediately with Tricopyr and marking dye (see details in “Tree clearing conditions” and “Cut stump treatment conditions”).
Savanna Zone (~9 acres **with possible 2-4 acre expansion**)
- Within this zone is the priority tree clearing area and is identified as degraded oak savanna. The Service Provider will open up these areas by removing all trees and shrubs except bur oaks.
- The project area has varying topography including steep slopes.
- Some oak savanna remnants are on hillsides and have sensitive vegetation and steep slopes. Tree clearing in these locations may require hand cutting.
- Woody biomass must be removed from the project site (see details below under “Tree clearing conditions”).
- Cut stumps must be treated immediately with Triclopyr and marking dye (see details below under “Cut stump treatment conditions”).
- **If funding allows, after the priority area (“Savanna Zone”) is cleared, other areas with bur oaks may be targeted further downslope from the priority zone to expand the oak openings.
- These areas are left outside of the priority area because the slopes offer operational challenges. Heavy equipment will have little to no access and must follow guidelines outlined in “Tree clearing conditions” and “Cut stump conditions”.
- Please bid any work outside the Savanna Zone separately as an hourly rate with the minimum work period being 2 days.
Buffer Zone (~5 acres)
- This area is a planted as a cover crop and allows access to the site or can be used as an equipment staging area for this project.
- A field approach located to the west off of Jonathan Carver Parkway in Carver, Minn., can be used as an access point for the western project areas.
- The eastern area will be accessed through the parking lot and planted prairie owned by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from Rapids Lake Road during the growing season.
- Additional staging areas could be created or the buffer zone increased, with approval from the Refuge Project Manager before any work is done.
- All slash resulting from the tree cutting operations will be removed from the savanna zone and forwarded to the buffer zone.
- If chipping on-site, piles in staging areas will be completely removed and hauled from site.
- If piling and burning on-site, piles can be burned while the ground is frozen within the buffer zone. Piles are only to be made within the buffer zone.
Tree clearing conditions
- Work will be conducted in a manner that will minimize rutting, disturbance, or compaction of soil or sod and the spread of noxious and invasive species. Utilization of Low Ground Pressure Equipment (LGP) will be required when ground is not frozen as determined by the Refuge Project Manager.
- Trees to “keep” will not be marked by the Refuge. The Service Provider must possess the skills necessary to identify common tree species in the winter/without leaves. Tree dbh and height vary widely across the project area.
- The woody biomass debris shall be removed from the Savanna Zone, in which case it will be deemed the property of the Service Provider and may be disposed of in any lawful way, including sale. No logs, branches or other woody debris may be scattered or left as burn piles for the Refuge to burn in subsequent seasons.
- All trails, roads, right of ways, fields, openings, fence lines, lakes, ponds and ditches shall be free of slash and damage. No trees or limbs resulting from logging operations shall be left leaning or hanging in other trees.
- The Service Provider will be required to perform the work in a manner that will prevent damage to bur oak and other residual trees while removing adjacent trees.
- All stumps shall be flat-topped and cut to a maximum of 3 inches above mineral soil.
- The Refuge Project Manager will conduct a final inspection of tree clearing work to assess stump height and to determine that the ground is prepped for fire and/or seeding. Any damaged areas within project site need to be restored by the Service Provider.
- The Service Provider may utilize a mulcher/shedder/forestry mower to shred trees and shrubs <6” dbh. The mulch can be left within the Savanna Zone, but any re-sprouts that occur as a result must be foliar sprayed with Triclopyr the following growing season.
- Prior to entering Refuge lands, all equipment will be spray-washed and inspected to minimize movement of invasive plants.
- Work hours should be Monday-Friday between sunrise and sunset. Other hours may be possible at the discretion of Refuge Project Manager.
- The Service Provider shall report all damage to Refuge and/or Minnesota Valley Lands, Inc., lands (including construction activities occurring beyond authorized work areas) or injury to the public or wildlife as soon as possible but in no instance more than 24 hours after the incident.
- In the event damage occurs to Refuge lands, the Service Provider shall contact the Refuge Project Manager before cleanup or remediation is initiated.
- Damage includes, but is not limited to, chemical or fuel spills in the same drainage area or watershed as Refuge lands.
- Damage also includes sediment deposition, erosion, vegetation clearing, or equipment operation outside the work area limits as approved by the Refuge Project Manager.
- If operations should expose items of archeological origin, work will cease in that area until the Refuge Project Manager makes a determination that work can continue.
- The Service Provider may leave equipment at the work site during the period of performance so long as care is taken to minimize negative impacts on the natural surroundings of the Refuge. However, the Government will assume no responsibility for this equipment if it is lost, stolen or damaged while on the Refuge property or elsewhere.
Cut stump treatment conditions
- All cut stumps (except red cedar) will be treated immediately after cutting to kill the tree/shrub. The stumps must be treated with herbicide as per the label to get the most effective re-sprout control. Herbicide used for stump treatment shall contain a marking dye (e.g., Bark Oil Blue).
- Any trees or shrubs that were shredded/forestry mowed/mulched with be monitored the following growing season from re-sprouts and the contractor will be responsible to spot spray those during that following growing season with herbicide as per the label to get the most effective control.
- Applicators must maintain a current Minnesota Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicators license.
- The Service Provider will fill out a Refuge Pesticide Application Record for all treatments and return it to the Project Manager upon project completion.
Special skills required
- The Service Provider must possess the skills necessary to identify common tree species in the winter/without leaves.
- The Service Provider must have the ability to use Avenza or similar application as boundaries of work zones will not be marked in the field.
- The Service Provider applicators must maintain a current Minnesota Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicators license.
- The Service Provider must provide examples/documentation of safe tree clearing operations on steep slopes of similar grade.
Your proposal must incorporate the following:
- Company background information
- Business name
- Length of time in business
- Designation and qualifications of personnel proposed to supervise or perform the services and percentage of time that person is expected to be involved.
- Project descriptions of projects your company has completed that demonstrate the quality of work your company will provide for this project.
- Names, phone numbers, and email addresses for a minimum of 3 references of similar projects, preferably natural area public lands.
- Demonstrated ability to identify woody plant species in winter and/or without leaves. The selected Service Provider will be expected to identify woody vegetation in the selective tree clearing operations.
- Proof of insurance
- Price: A price quote for the project, as a sum total and itemized cost per activity. Include fence removal, tree clearing, tree removal, cut stump treatments/herbicide use and an hourly rate to work outside of the Savanna Zone in your quote. Provide a quote with a pile and burn option and a chip and haul option.
- Approach: Based upon information contained in this RFP and attachments, prepare a strategy for all aspects of this project, including proposed use of equipment.
- Schedule: Include a project Fence removal can begin immediately; the remainder of the project will begin in fall/winter 2019. Work must be concluded by June 30, 2020.
- Other information that you believe supports your proposal.
Submission and Selection: Proposals may be submitted by email to Matt Millett by COB November 13, 2019. Factors considered in awarding the contract include: Cost, Industry experience, Qualifications, and Past work and Reputation. Before works begins the Service Provider will be informed if all material will be chipped and hauled or piled and burned.
Maps Incorporated into this RFP: Figure 1-project site location; Figure 2-work areas; Figure 3-topographical map of project site.
Reports Required: Weekly reports via email or text are due to Mike Malling until the tree clearing, removal, and cut stump treatment is completed. Pesticide Application Records will be turned in to Mike Malling upon project completion.
Licenses Required: If any of the activities described in this RFP require specific licenses or certifications, your application for the activity indicates you have the required certification to perform the work. Please include copies of any licenses or certificates required to do this work.
Insurance Requirements: The Contractor must maintain, at their sole expense, general or business liability insurance during the term of this contract with a minimum coverage amount of $1,000,000. Insurance shall name the Minnesota Land Trust, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc., and Minnesota Valley Lands, Inc., as additional insureds. Proof of insurance must be submitted prior to commencing work.
Worker’s Compensation: The Contractor certifies that it is in compliance with Minnesota Statute 176.181, subdivision 2, pertaining to worker’s compensation insurance coverage.
Funding Source: Funding for this project is provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC). A contract awarded under this grant will be subject to the requirements of the DNR Reimbursement Manual (http://dnr.state.mn.us/grants/passthrough), and to the accomplishment plan of the Outdoor Heritage Fund grant (https://www.lsohc.leg.mn/FY2018/accomp_plans). The Contractor understands and agrees to comply with these and all other relevant state and federal laws and regulations in fulfillment of its work under this Agreement.
Permits & Liabilities: The contractor will be responsible for calling Gopher State One Call (1-800-252-1166) to identify any utilities BEFORE digging or ground disturbance. The contractor is ultimately responsible for any liability resulting from damage by their equipment to any utilities. If the contractor or Gopher One identify any issues that would impact this project, the project manager must be informed immediately to help find a solution. The contractor is also liable for damage to any other property, infrastructure or personal injury on site due to accident or negligence and must carry the required insurance, as specified in the RFP.
Prevailing Wages: Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 177.41 to 177.44 and corresponding Minnesota Rules 5200.1000 to 5200.1120, this contract may be subject to the prevailing wages as established by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Specifically, all contractors and subcontractors may have to pay all laborers and mechanics the established prevailing wages for work performed under the contract. Failure to comply with the aforementioned may result in civil or criminal penalties. A prevailing wage form should accompany any bid submittal.
Haley Golz– Private Lands Restoration Program Manager Minnesota Land Trust
394 South Lake Avenue, Suite 404
Duluth, MN 55802
Mike Malling– Refuge Project Manager
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 15865 Rapids Lake Road Carver, MN 55315
Matt Millett – Project Manager Minnesota Valley Trust, Inc.
3815 E. American Blvd. Bloomington, MN 55425