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HI-HAKALAU FOREST NWR-WEED CONTROL

General Information

Document Type:MOD
Posted Date:Jun 06, 2018
Category: Natural Resources and Conservation Services
Set Aside:N/A

Contracting Office Address

FWS, DIVISION OF CONTRACTING AND GE EASTSIDE FEDERAL COMPLEX 911 NE 11TH AVENUE PORTLAND OR 97232-4181 US

Description

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Contracting and General Services (CGS) Region 1 has been tasked to solicit for and procure a firm-fixed-price contract for Pest Control/Landscape Maintenance Services for Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Hilo Hawaii. Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 42 road miles in a northwesterly direction from Hilo, Hawaii, and situated between 2,500 and 6,500 feet in elevation. The Kona Forest Unit, includes 5,300 acres on the drier, leeward side of the island and is approximately 100 miles from Hilo and 25 miles from Kona. The contract will focus on the application of herbicide on gorse, blackberry and holly, but may include other species found commonly on either Unit. All are alien weeds responsible for degradation of native forest habitat. In addition, maintenance of the refuge units fuel breaks or roads requiring mowing/maintenance will be conducted. Project is a small business set-aside. Applicable NAICS code is 561730. Small business size is defined as $7.5 million or less annually when averaged over a three year period Contract to include a base year to run from date of award for one year and the contract will include four option years that are exercised solely at the discretion of the Government. Unit pricing must be provided for all bid items for all 5 years to be considered responsive. A site visit for the Hakalau Forest unit has been reschedule for June 7th, 2018 at 10 AM local time. If attending, please contact Andrew Kikuta at (808) 936-9604. The meeting location will be Pua Akala top gate. Staff will be waiting at that site which is approximately 10.5 miles in on Keanakolu road. Contractors are advised to use a 4WD vehicle. From Hilo, allow 2 hours to get there. A site visit for the Kona unit has been scheduled for June 12, 2018 at 10 AM local time. For the Kona unit, contractors will meet at the bottom date near the 102 mm on Highway 11. Approximate coordinates for entrance on highway are 19 23 33.92" N 155 52 41.89" W. Staff will show the main section to be mowed. Questions are due by close of business on June 14, 2018 and shall be directed to Karl Lautzenheiser at karl_lautzenheiser@fws.gov. The associated Statement of Work for this work is as follows: I.Summary of Work Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 42 road miles in a northwesterly direction from Hilo, Hawaii, and situated between 2,500 and 6,500 feet in elevation. The Kona Forest Unit, includes 5,300 acres on the drier, leeward side of the island and is approximately 100 miles from Hilo and 25 miles from Kona. The contract will focus on the application of herbicide on gorse, blackberry and holly, but may include other species found commonly on either Unit. All are alien weeds responsible for degradation of native forest habitat. In addition, maintenance of the refuge units fuel breaks or roads requiring mowing/maintenance will be conducted. The upper elevations of the refuge contain gorse (Ulex europaeus), a weed native to northern Europe. Widespread control of gorse took place in 2015 and 2016 knocking back large bushes. Individual plants and patches are still found intermittently within the upper elevation units near the western boundary of the Refuge. The total cover of these plants is less than 1% of the vegetation found. The area is around 500 acres. A contractor is needed to provide equipment, herbicide and labor to clear gorse patches and individual gorse plants. The upper elevations and non-forested areas of the Refuge are infested with prickly Florida blackberry (Rubus argutus), a weed native to the eastern United States. This weed occurs intermittently across non-forested areas of the Refuge with as little as 1% cover in Pua Akala and as much as 30% cover within Maulua. A contractor is needed to provide equipment, herbicide and labor to control blackberry. Pua Akala and Shipman Management Units contain English Holly (Ilex aquifolium) a weed native to England. A contractor is needed to provide equipment and labor to chemically, mechanically, and manually control holly plants. At this time the most effective method of treating holly has been the cut stump method or hand-pulling of plants dependent on size. The Refuge will work with the contractor to find a more efficient and effective method for controlling this weed. The area of the infestation is about 500 acres with intermittent occurrence. The total cover of these plants within this area is about 2%, however, large clumps of the plant have been found. Areas likely to be targeted for control will be more densely infested and may have up to 5% coverage. Recent control efforts have led to a reduction in density across the landscape. The Hakalau Forest Unit has 15 miles of fuel break and numerous access roads (approximately 40 miles) that require maintenance by mowing grass and other vegetation. The Kona Unit has approximately 25 miles of access roads that require maintenance by mowing grass and other vegetation. The fuel break and access roads are to be mowed approximately 25 feet wide and at an average height of 2 -3 (as terrain allows). Mowing will occur at intervals throughout the year as determined necessary by the Refuge Manager. II.Description of Terrain and Weed Distribution A.Gorse: The gorse infestation occurs on open, rolling pasture land dissected with occasional gullies and generally sloping to the east. The area is vegetated with short grasses and ferns and was continuously grazed by cattle for more than 100 years until 1997. Gorse patches ranging in size from a few square feet to a quarter- acre occur throughout the area. Individual plants may attain a height of eight feet or more, but recent efforts have made finding these large plants rare. Off-road hikes of 5-60 minutes through thick grass, scattered vegetation and uneven terrain may be required to access plants. Mature plants and gorse seedlings will be treated with a "foliar" application of Garlon 3A mixed with water or an approved alternative. B.Blackberry: The blackberry infestation occurs primarily within the middle and upper elevation areas of the Refuge in sunlit clearings within the forest. The open-to-closed forest canopy is dominated by native ohia and koa trees. The sub- canopy and understory is comprised of scattered native plants (ohelo, olapa, pilo, akala, kolea) which have been thinned over the past 100 years by grazing cattle and pigs. Alien grasses (kikuyu, sweet vernal, and meadow ricegrass) dominate the forest floor but native ferns (Dryopterus) are also common. Alien and native plants became more profuse when cattle were excluded from the areas a few years ago. Blackberry patches range in size from a few canes covering a couple of square feet to patches as large as half an acre. Off-road hikes of 5-60 minutes through thick grass, scattered vegetation and uneven terrain may be required to access the blackberry patches. Refuge and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park staff have experimented with the application of herbicides to blackberry in the effort to maximize blackberry control while minimizing damage to nearby native plants. These procedures will be used by the contractor; however, alternatives may be considered. C.English Holly: The holly infestation occurs primarily in the Pua Akala and Shipman Management Units, but may not be confined to these areas. English holly (Ilex aquafolia) was identified as a highest priority target invasive plant species in the Refuge s 2010 Comprehensive Conservation Plan. It is a tall shrub or small tree that can spread via seeds or vegetatively and can out-compete native species. Holly was originally planted around ranch buildings located in this area prior to establishment of the Refuge. Hakalau area is one of few places where English Holly is found in Hawaii. At this time the most effective means of control is via the cut- stump method. The Refuge will work with the successful bidder to find the most effective and efficient way to treat this invasive weed. III.Supplies, Materials, Labor and Equipment Because the Hakalau Forest Unit is a two-hour drive from the nearest town (Hilo) and the Kona Unit is an hour drive from the nearest town (Kona), the refuge will provide shower and equipment wash-down facilities if needed. It may also be possible to house the contractors work crew of 2-4 individuals in refuge cabins or other structures. Additionally, the University of Hawaii (UH) Field Station located on Hakalau has housed contract workers. There is typically a small fee associated with this stay which is set up with the UH. There is no guarantee that space will be available either within Refuge housing or the UH Field Station. Space is 1st come, first serve and is prioritized by employees, researchers, partners, and then contractors. Camping may be necessary. Vendor will need to supply all camping equipment. The contractor will provide all equipment, materials, labor and supplies including herbicide, adjuvant, and dye. At least one 4x4 pickup truck is required for transport of crew, equipment, and drums of water and herbicide. A gas-powered pump, a 50+ gallon tank for mixing and holding herbicide, and two 200 foot hoses with spray wands mounted on an all-wheel drive tractor may be required for applying herbicide in areas where gorse and blackberry concentrations are heavy. For mowing, a farm tractor with a minimum of 70hp and a 5-7 ft. mowing deck would be needed to minimize the number of passes to accomplish the 25 ft. standard. Each member of the work crew will need a backpack sprayer. Hand and gas powered equipment will be needed for appropriate mechanical removal of holly. ATVs or UTVs may be used, but are not required. Communications equipment is not provided by the Refuge. The Refuge will not be responsible for theft or vandalism of contractors property. IV.Job Description The Refuge Manager or his designee will direct the contractors effort by designating gorse/ blackberry or holly is to be controlled and in what areas control will take place. The same individual will direct fuel break/access road mowing, areas of control and scheduling. Maps of target areas will be provided. Gorse and blackberry will be treated simultaneously as they require the same treatments and have many areas that overlap. Alternative treatments will only be approved if vendor has first-hand knowledge and experience of success with said treatment and it outweighs treating gorse and blackberry simultaneously. Not all herbicides can be approved for use on Federal lands and must go through a thorough approval process outside of Hakalau Forest NWR office. However, current treatments have been approve and require no further action for approval. Treatment areas for gorse/blackberry will be broken down into 10 acre units, while treatment for English holly will be broken down into 1 acre units. The number of units chosen per target weed will depend upon annual funding and the cost of control per unit. A.Foliar Spray Application on Gorse and Blackberry A 2% solution of Garlon or Element 3A mixed with water will be used for treating seedlings and mature plants that have not been previously sprayed. The contractor will mix a 2% solution of Garlon 3A or equivalent in water plus 0.2% silicon-based surfactant and apply the formulation at a rate not to exceed six pounds active ingredient (Triclopyr) per acre. A dye marker (2% Turf-trax or equivalent) will also be added to prevent double spraying. Application will be spot-treatment, low-pressure spray applied by a hand-held wand to the foliage of living plants (foliar spray application). Seedlings and mature plants will be thoroughly and completely wetted with the spray. Timing for spraying blackberry is extremely important and should take place in the spring after green-up and before seed- set. B.Chemical, manual, and mechanical control of English Holly Holly plants less than 5 inches will be hand-pulled. All left over roots will be sprayed (see mixture below). Holly plants that cannot be hand-pulled will be controlled using the cut- stump method with application of 40% Garlon or Element 4 mixed with crop oil. Stumps must be cut at ground level. Frilling of the stump may need to be employed to ensure saturation of the stump. Small branches and plants must be hung off the ground on surrounding vegetation. Cut-ends of larger branches and trees that cannot be lifted must be treated with herbicide mixture to avoid re-establishment of cut segments. Other methods such as foliar spraying may be employed at a later date. This would include plants that are greater than 5 inches and less than 6 feet. Application will be spot- treatment, low-pressure spray applied by a hand-held wand to the foliage of living plants. English holly plants and trees exceeding 5 inches and under 6 feet will be thoroughly and completely wetted with the spray. C.Mowing Fuel Break and Access Roads The fuel break and access roads are to be mowed approximately 25 feet wide and at an average height of 2 -3 (as the terrain allows). A farm tractor with a minimum of 70hp and a 5-7 ft. mowing deck will be needed to minimize the number of passes to accomplish the 25 ft standard. Rates for this service will include mobilization and demobilization of the equipment. Mowing will occur 2-4 times per year as determined necessary by the Refuge Manager or Fire Management Specialist. Maps of the areas to be mowed will be provided. V.Data, Accountability Standards, and Inspections A.Contractor will provide data on methods used, herbicide type, concentration and amount of herbicide used, areas covered via maps and other applicable information on a bi-monthly basis. Maps will include GPS tracks covered for that time period. Data sheet template will be provided by FWS. B.Contractor will be required to treat all target species within a unit with a success rate of 90% efficacy. Re-treatment may be necessary if designated inspector finds that treatment success drops below this 90% efficacy rate. Inspections may occur at any time over the course of the period of performance. VI.Protection of Environment and Proper Use of Chemicals Contracted operations shall be conducted to comply with all federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations as well as the safety precautions and directions for use of the herbicide and adjuvant labels. Extreme care must be taken to prevent the herbicides from contacting native trees and bushes in the vicinity of gorse, blackberry and holly patches. The spray wand will be held as close to the target plants as possible to minimize over-spray. Spraying will occur only during periods of light or no wind and good weather. APPLICATION WILL CEASE IF IT BEGINS TO RAIN OR MIST. VII.Contractor and Inspection Crew Activities A.Pre-Bid On-Site Inspection Bidders are strongly advised to inspect the project prior to submitting a bid. Topographic and logistical conditions present difficulties. Failure to visit the site will in no way relieve the successful bidder from completion of the work in accordance with conditions and specifications to the satisfaction of the Contracting Officers Representative (COR). B.Camps Camps may be permitted with the following restrictions: 1.Must be located near project or administrative site and be approved by the COR to facilitate future monitoring. 2.No cutting of live trees or ferns larger than 4 inches in diameter. 3.Food scraps and human waste may be disposed of in shallow (10 inch deep) slit latrines. Metal, plastic and other non-degradable refuse must be carried out. 4.No permanent structures may be built, such as tree houses, shelves, shelters, pit toilets, etc. 5.Abandoned campsites must be restored by removing all unnatural materials and restoring surface profile. 6.Contractor will remove all food, refuse, tools, camping gear and/or scrap upon completion of the project. 7.Camps will be kept tidy at all times. All food stuffs will be stored in appropriate containers to mitigate for rodents and other pests at the site. C.Native and alien plants and animals. 1.Plants may not be removed from the Refuge. 2.Bio-security Protocols: a)To reduce the spread of Rapid hi a Death and other invasive or destructive plants, animals, insects, or pathogens to the Refuge, the Contractor shall follow written protocols outlining the cleaning of gear, vehicles, equipment, clothing and footwear prior to entering the Refuge. Protocols are furnished with the invitation to bid. 3.Contractor may not plant any vegetation. 4.No pets or domestic animals allowed. VIII.Summary Basis for award will be "Lowest-Priced, Technically-Acceptable." Lowest priced proposal will be based upon the combined total average cost for all bid items (base and all option items). The Government will first conduct a price analysis to determine fairness, reasonableness and if unbalanced pricing exists. Offerors proposals will then be ranked from the lowest to the highest-priced. The Government will then evaluate the technical proposal of the apparent, lowest-priced offeror. If the apparent, lowest-priced offerors technical proposal is `Unacceptable, the Government will then evaluate the technical proposal of the apparent, second lowest-priced offeror. This process will continue until a lowest-priced offerors technical proposal is `Acceptable. Once the Government identifies the lowest-priced, technically-acceptable offeror, the Government will not evaluate technical proposals from offerors who proposed higher pricing. The solicitation package will identify evaluation factor(s) that offerors must submit with their proposal submission for evaluation as the basis for determining whether a proposal is considered as technically acceptable. Solicitation Number 140F0118Q0079 with attachments is being posted on or about May 14, 2018 with proposals due by 3 PM PST on June 21, 2018. If submitted by mail channels, the proposal must be received by no later that date/time or it can be emailed directly to Karl_Lautzenheiser@fws.gov. No further notice will be posted on FedBizOpps. To be considered for award, interested contractors must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database at (https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/) and Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) must be completed at this same website. For technical or contract questions, please contact Karl Lautzenheiser by email to Karl_Lautzenheiser@fws.gov.

Original Point of Contact

POC Lautzenheiser, Karl

Place of Performance

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