Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Pipeline maintenance work may result in the incidental take of rare lizard

News Release Published: July 13, 2012 by the Central Office

Contact(s): Rori Paloski, DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, 608-264-6040

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Wisconsin's endangered species law (s. 29.604, Wis. Stats.) requires the Department of Natural Resources to notify the public when it proposes to authorize the incidental taking of a state endangered or threatened species.]

MADISON - Routine pipeline maintenance work may result in the "incidental taking" lizard listed as a state endangered species, under a permit the Department of Natural Resources proposes issue for the work. Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the overall population of the species at risk.

The maintenance work is planned by Enbridge Pipelines (Lakehead), L.L.C. for multiple locations along their existing pipelines in Adams, Columbia, Marquette and Wood counties. The purpose of this planned work is to inspect, and if necessary, repair sections of the pipeline that have been identified through Enbridge's pipeline integrity program. This Incidental Take Permit application is intended to cover routine maintenance activities on four of Enbridge's existing pipelines (Line 14, Line 6A, Line 13, and Line 61).

The presence of the state endangered slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus) has been confirmed in the vicinity of the project sites. DNR staff determined that the species is likely present due to the presence of suitable habitat and that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some lizards. However, they concluded that the proposed project is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of this species within the state, the whole plant-animal community of which it is a part or the habitat that is critical to its existence.

The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the slender glass lizard will be incorporated into the proposed incidental take permit. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the slender glass lizard are available by searching for " incidental take public notice" on the DNR website or upon request from Rori Paloski, DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, at 608-264-6040.

Written comments on the permit requests will be taken through July 27, 2012 and should be sent to Rori Paloski, DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, PO Box 7921 Madison, WI 53707-7921.