Edward L. LaRue, Jr.

Ed earned his B.S. in Biology in 1982 from Virginia Tech, and his M.S. in Entomology in 1987 from Ohio State University.  His master's thesis was on parasites of the endangered Puerto Rican parrot.  

He has lived and worked as a biologist in southern California since 1989, first with Tierra Madre Consultants, in Riverside, and then forming Circle Mountain Biological Consultants with his wife, Sharon Dougherty, in 1994.


He worked for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management from 1998 to 2004, as a biologist on the West Mojave Coordinated Management Plan.  His responsibilities included writing conservation strategies for desert tortoise and Mohave ground squirrel. He worked with State and Federal agencies, county governments, munipal governments, and the public to create consensus on the Plan, which encompassed over 9 million acres of the West Mojave Desert.

Ed served on the Board of Directors for the Desert Tortoise Council from 1991 to 2004, and 2011 to the present.  He has served as the master of ceremonies for the Desert Tortoise Council's Survey Techniques Workshop every year since 1992.


Ed was the editor of the Desert Tortoise Council's "Guidelines for Handling Desert Tortoises" (1994, revised 1999), which was adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and used as the protocol for handling the desert tortoise throughout its range through 2009.  His work is cited in the USFWS 2010 survey protocol.


Ed has completed hundreds of surveys for Agassiz's desert tortoise, and now holds a trapping permit from the California Department of Fish and Game for Mohave ground squirrel.


In 2011, Ed  led a crew of five biologists on surveys of 1,187, 1.5-mile belt transects throughout the 975 square-mile 29 Palms Marine Corps Base in support of their Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan, revised in 2012.

Sharon E. Dougherty

Sharon has worked as a professional wildlife biologist for over 30 years. She earned B.A.'s in Biology and Environmental Studies (with honors) from U.C. Santa Cruz in 1981, and her masters in Environmental Studies, Wildlife Ecology, from Yale University in 1988.  

From 1989 to 1994, she served as District Wildlife Biologist for the Cajon Ranger District, San Bernardino National Forest, in Lytle Creek, California. From 1992 to 1994, she also served as Resources Staff Officer, managing wildlife, timber, forest products, range, and watershed programs for the 124,181-acre district. 


Circle Mountain Biological Consultants was originally established as a partnership between Dougherty and her husband, Edward LaRue, Jr., in 1994, and incorporated in 2007. 


Sharon has completed hundreds of biological surveys for CMBC since 1994, including focused surveys for Agassiz's desert tortoise, burrowing owl, and other special-status species.  Since co-founding CMBC, she has prepared Biological Evaluations/Biological Assessments to Forest Service standards for camps, ski resorts, communications companies, and others holding special-use permits on the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests.