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Weekly News Published - September 12, 2017 by the Central Office

 

Trees are getting ready for winter as autumn colors begin

MADISON -- September is technically still summer on the astronomical calendar, but the days are getting shorter and cooler. Wisconsin has more than 17 million acres of forested lands and changes in color mean the trees are starting to get ready for winter. Peak fall color varies each year, and 2017 is one of the wettest on record, which could have an impact on color this year.

Early fall color is already showing up in Wisconsin's Northwoods.
Early fall color is already showing up in Wisconsin's Northwoods.
Photo Credit: DNR

"Fall color viewing helps usher in the change of seasons for Wisconsin residents and visitors every year," said Colleen Matula, forest silviculturist/ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry. "It is time for our forests - both rural and urban - to show off their colors."

The first hints of color typically appear in isolated, lower-lying areas by mid-September. Peak fall color usually occurs in far northern Wisconsin during the last week of September and first week of October. Central Wisconsin peak color generally occurs during mid-October and in southern Wisconsin during the latter half of October.

Wisconsin's forests, parks and natural areas are great for fall color viewing. Go to dnr.wi.gov and search "Explore Outdoors" to find a place near you. For the most up-to-date information and an estimated date of peak colors, go to the Fall Color Report on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Travel Wisconsin website and signup for email updates.

Nature's autumn leaf colors are influenced by three factors: leaf pigments, length of night and weather. The vibrancy of the season depends on the variable weather conditions, like temperature and moisture.

"Shorter days mean the sunlight is less intense, and leaves begin to adjust by producing less chlorophyll, revealing the yellow and orange pigments of the leaves," Matula said. "Temperature and moisture also affect the color display."

According to Todd Lanigan, DNR forest health specialist, hardwood trees already showing color in lowland areas are stressed from being in water too long due to the wettest year on record for Wisconsin.

The leaf pigments determine the full range of the color palette. Chlorophyll gives leaves the basic green color and is necessary for photosynthesis. Carotenoids, which produce yellow, orange and brown colors, are always present so trees like aspen and birch have more predictable colors each year. Anthocyanin, which produces red and purple tints, varies with the conditions and makes each autumn unique for other species. Visit this page for more information about fall colors: http://dnr.wi.gov/education/educatorresources/fallColors.html

Whatever the color, or wherever you are in the state, autumn is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin's trees as they usher in the next season.

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Travel Wisconsin asks fans to vote for their favorite scenic route in Wisconsin

Half of the drives highlight Wisconsin State Park System properties

MADISON - In anticipation of the arrival of vibrant fall colors across the state, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is asking fall foliage fans to join the fun and help pick this year's best fall drive in the state. People can cast a vote for their favorite drive on TravelWisconsin.com through Oct. 2.

The Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown (exit DNR) includes 10 scenic routes throughout the state perfect for viewing fall colors. Half of those drives are either through or adjacent to Wisconsin State Park System properties, including: the Chippewa County Ice Age Drive, that goes around the Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area; the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive that goes through the Northern and Southern units of the Kettle Moraine State Forest; the Door County Coastal Byway, which goes by Peninsula, Newport and Whitefish Dunes state parks; the Wisconsin Great River Road National Scenic Byway that passes by Nelson Dewey, Wyalusing, Perrot and Merrick state parks; and Highway 33 from Baraboo to La Crosse, which passes by Devil's Lake and Wildcat Mountain state parks and the "400" State Trail.

The Travel Wisconsin Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown lets people vote for their favorite fall drive.
The Travel Wisconsin Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown lets people vote for their favorite fall drive.
Photo Credit: Wisconsin Department of Tourism

The other five drives include the Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway, the Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway; Rustic Road 62 featuring Timm's Hill in Price County; Cranberry Highway Wisconsin Rapids Area; and Rustic Road 29 featuring Snake Road in Lake Geneva.

"We invite people taking part in the Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown to take time to stop and visit one of our many properties along these scenic tours. Our parks and forests offer many amenities such as picnic areas and restrooms, hiking and biking trails and campgrounds to stop, rest awhile, and take in the fall colors," said Ben Bergey, director of the Wisconsin State Park System. People can find information about properties by searching the Department of Natural Resources website dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "find a park."

The best and brightest fall colors throughout the state can be found by visiting Travel Wisconsin's Fall Color Report (exit DNR). Visitors can use the interactive map to locate peak foliage along with nearby activities, events, places to stay and eat. More than 100 fall color reporters throughout the state provide updates for all 72 counties, making the report the most timely and comprehensive report available.

Fall fanatics can stay on top of the state's rapidly changing color by: checking the report from their mobile device, tablet or desktop computer; texting "WI Fall" to 468311 to receive Fall Color Report alerts, or sign up to have the Fall Color Report emailed to them every Thursday in time to make weekend plans.

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Fall wild turkey, ruffed grouse and woodcock seasons set to open

MADISON -- Prospects are good for fall wild turkey, ruffed grouse and woodcock hunting seasons, and hunters should look forward to another exciting year in the field.

Wild turkey

The fall turkey season runs from Sept. 16 to Nov. 17 statewide, with an extended fall season in Turkey Management Zones 1-5 continuing through Dec. 31.

The fall wild turkey season opens Sept. 16.
The fall wild turkey season opens Sept. 16.
Photo Credit: Ryan Brady

"Fall turkey hunters can look forward to good opportunities this year," said Mark Witecha, upland wildlife ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "The fall turkey season definitely offers some variety in hunting tactics and strategy compared to the spring season, and you can't beat the backdrop of a Wisconsin autumn."

Overall, Wisconsin's statewide wild turkey population remains strong. After 30 years of sustained population growth and expansion across the state, wild turkeys are now found statewide. Wild turkey numbers appear to be stabilizing at levels suitable to available habitat -- they will likely ebb and flow around those levels in response to weather, food availability and other natural factors.

Biologists closely monitor harvest during the either-sex fall turkey hunting season, as excessive hen harvest can affect turkey populations. Recent hen harvests in Wisconsin have been very low, and current hen harvest rates do not play a significant role in the dynamics of Wisconsin's turkey flock.

"We saw a five percent decrease in harvest this spring compared to 2016," said Witecha. "With the exception of frequent rains throughout the spring and summer, the weather has been favorable for much of the year, so the population should remain stable."

Turkey hunters are reminded that they are subject to the blaze orange requirement for ground blinds erected on DNR lands during any gun deer season. Ground blinds on DNR lands left unattended during legal hunting hours must display the owner's name and address or DNR customer ID number near the door opening. New for this season, blinds can be left overnight Sept. 1 to Jan. 31, 2018 on DNR managed properties north of Highway 64. Blinds south of Highway 64 on DNR managed lands may not be left out overnight, and must be removed entirely from the property at the close of hunting hours each day. Blinds used for waterfowl hunting and blinds constructed entirely of vegetation do not have to be removed daily.

The use of dogs to hunt wild turkey is allowed statewide for the fall seasons.

Ruffed Grouse

In Zone A, the ruffed grouse season opens Sept. 16, 2017 and runs through Jan. 31, 2018. In Zone B, the season will open Oct. 14 and close Dec. 8.

Ruffed grouse drumming surveys have been used since 1964 to help monitor ruffed grouse population trends.

"Statewide ruffed grouse drumming activity was up 17 percent this spring compared to last year," said Brian Dhuey, DNR wildlife survey coordinator. "Ruffed grouse populations are known to rise and fall over a nine- to 11-year cycle, and the last peak in Wisconsin's cycle occurred in 2011. Survey results suggest that we have surpasses the low point in the population cycle and population numbers should continue to increase until they hit the next peak in the coming years."

Grouse hunters are reminded to register with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) if they plan to pursue woodcock, mourning doves or other migratory game birds. Registration is free and is available through all license vendors, as well as online.

In 2017, the woodcock season will be open from Sept. 23 to Nov. 6.

Go Wild

Leftover fall turkey permits can be purchased through the Online Licensing Center, license agents, and DNR Service Centers. Hunters with any questions regarding permits can contact the DNR Customer Call Center, open 7 a.m. through 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463). For more information regarding Go Wild, visit gowild.wi.gov.

FFLIGHT

The Fields and Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool gives hunters an interactive summary of young aspen and alder habitat to find woodcock and ruffed grouse hunting areas, pheasant-stocked public hunting grounds, and dove fields found on public hunting lands throughout Wisconsin

Features available within the program help hunters locate DNR public parking areas, overlay township descriptions, and provide access to maps and aerial photos of prospective hunting areas. Users can also print maps and find GPS coordinates to assist in navigation and estimate acreage and walking distance.

The mapping application is compatible with all major desktop and mobile web browsers (internet access is required). Mobile users can use FFLIGHT on-the-go to find habitat suitable for the species they wish to pursue. To learn more, search keyword "FFLIGHT."

For more information regarding wild turkeys and ruffed grouse in Wisconsin, search keywords "turkey" and "ruffed grouse."

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Youth waterfowl and Canada goose hunts open Sept. 16

MADISON -Regular season Canada goose hunting in the Exterior and Horicon zones opens Saturday, Sept. 16, along with the two-day Youth Waterfowl Hunt Sept. 16-17.

Youth Waterfowl Hunt

This year's Youth Waterfowl hunt will be held Sept. 16 and 17. This special hunt offers youth age 12-15 (or those 10 or over hunting under the mentored hunting law) the opportunity to learn skills from an adult without the increased hunting pressure encountered during the regular season.

"These two days provide a great opportunity for nearly 3,500 kids to enjoy waterfowl hunting under the guidance of a friend or family member each year," said Taylor Finger, Department of Natural Resources migratory game bird ecologist.

Normal season bag limits apply, but all license and stamp requirements are waived for the youth hunt. However, participants still need to be HIP registered (free of charge) and possess a regular season goose permit for the zone in which they are hunting if they wish to hunt geese during this time. Licensed adults may also hunt geese since the Exterior and Horicon Zone goose seasons are open during these dates.

Individuals of all ages and skill levels are reminded to check out a Learn to Hunt waterfowl clinic to learn more about hunting and its role within conservation.

Regular Goose season

With resident Canada goose breeding numbers similar to recent years and average production of the Ontario breeders, hunters should have ample opportunities this year, and will again enjoy a full 92 days of hunting in the Exterior zone with a two-bird daily bag limit.

"When combined with the 15 days of the early season, this puts Wisconsin at 107 days of Canada goose hunting - this is the maximum season length allowed by federal law," said Finger.

Exterior Zone Canada goose season structure is as follows:

Hunters should note that the goose season is closed during the duck season split in both the South Zone (closed Oct. 9-13) and Mississippi River Subzone (closed Oct. 7-13).

It is important to note that the Horicon Zone Canada goose season structure has been combined into a single period:

The daily bag limit for Canada geese in the Horicon Zone remains at two. In 2014, the season harvest limit in this zone was increased to 12 total Canada geese. It is important to remember that locations west of Highway 73 and north of Highway 23 are no longer part of the Horicon Zone, but rather part of the Exterior Zone.

For more information regarding waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "waterfowl management."

Go Wild

Hunters are required to report their harvest within 48 hours by phone at 844-426-3734 (844-GAME-REG) or online at GoWild.wi.gov.

Early, Exterior and Horicon Zone goose permits are now printed on plain paper, rather than green thermal paper. A Wisconsin driver's licenses, DNR issued PDF file, Conservation Card or paper tag is required to be carried on person. New this year, infield validation is no longer required of hunters.

For more information, visit GoWild.wi.gov.

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Northern zone waterfowl hunters should look forward to another good year in the field

MADISON - The 2017 North Zone duck season opens Sept. 23, and above average breeding conditions and a relatively wet summer mean Wisconsin's waterfowl hunters can expect a good hunting forecast.

"Conditions were above average this spring, and the entire state has seen abundant rainfall for most of the summer, with it starting to dry out heading into early fall. Waterfowlers should have the potential for a good hunting season," said DNR migratory game bird ecologist Taylor Finger.

The 2017 North Zone duck season opens Sept. 23.
The 2017 North Zone duck season opens Sept. 23.
Photo Credit: DNR

"Continental breeding surveys reported a near record numbers of ducks this spring - these surveys span 62 years. However, even with excellent continental breeding indications, local water levels and scouting will be the most important factors when pursuing ducks this fall."

The 2017 North Zone duck season will run from Sept. 23 to Nov. 21 - opening day shooting hours will begin 30 minutes before sunrise. The daily bag limit statewide is six ducks, including no more than:

Five mergansers may be harvested daily, of which no more than two may be hooded mergansers; 15 coot may be harvested daily. For 2017, the possession limit remains three times the daily bag limit.

Many of the ducks harvested in Wisconsin are produced from locally nesting ducks breeding in the state's wetlands. According to Finger; mallards, wood ducks, green-winged teal and blue-winged teal are the four most abundant ducks in Wisconsin's fall hunting harvest.

"As always, hunters who take the time to scout for good wetland conditions and observe what areas birds are using will have more success," said Finger. "Hunter survey data in Wisconsin show that duck hunters who scouted three or more times harvested on average 3-4 times as many ducks per season, as those who did not scout."

Licenses and stamps required for duck hunting include a Wisconsin small game license, a Wisconsin waterfowl stamp, and a federal migratory bird stamp. The federal duck stamp costs $25.

The federal stamp can be purchased at a U.S. Post Office. Hunters will also have the option of purchasing the federal stamp privilege at DNR license vendors for an additional $2.50 surcharge. The purchase will be noted on their license, but the stamp itself will arrive weeks later in the mail.

Waterfowl and other migratory bird hunters must also register each year with the federal Harvest Information Program, which places them on a list of hunters that may receive a mailing asking them to provide a summary of their harvest. HIP registration is free and can be done at the time hunters purchase their licenses, but can always be added later on if a hunter decides they may pursue migratory game birds.

State licenses and stamps, permits, and HIP registration are available at any license agent and through Wisconsin's online licensing site, Go Wild.

For more information regarding waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "waterfowl."

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Game bird brood production increased in 2017 from 2016, but levels still below long-term means

MADISON - Game birds should have been in good condition going into the spring breeding season due to a mild winter this year. This, combined with an early spring green-up, led to better game bird breeding and nesting conditions than previous years.

Average temperatures and above average precipitation during the months June through August resulted in varied weather impacts across the state for brood production. While Wisconsin's game birds showed increased brood production from the previous year, most areas were still below their long-term mean for brood production.

"Brood production surveys for these species were conducted by DNR employees during the months of June, July and August as they went about their normal work duties," said Brian Dhuey, DNR wildlife survey coordinator. "These data are still preliminary and may change," added Dhuey, "But they can be used as an index to production and help in the forecast of fall hunting prospects."

Game brood observations indicate birds are generally making a comeback.

Temperatures during the spring brood-rearing period were average and precipitation was above normal for much of the summer brood rearing season. Although Wisconsin's winter had below normal snowfall and above average temperatures, the lack of heavy snow cover may have led to an early spring green up, early June weather is the most critical for turkey, pheasant and grouse broods as this is when recently-hatched chicks are most susceptible to hypothermia if they get wet. Most of the summer was wet, but didn't seem to negatively impact brood survival as drastically as it had in 2016.

Ruffed Grouse

Statewide, ruffed grouse broods seen per observer hour were up 18 percent compared to 2016, but still 44 percent below the long term mean. Ruffed Grouse production was up in two of the three regions that compose the primary range for ruffed grouse, central (13.7 percent), northern (16.5 percent), and southwestern (-38.0 percent) part of Wisconsin. Ruffed grouse brood size fell from 4.0 in 2016 to 3.6 young per brood in 2017.

"Spring breeding grouse numbers were up in 2017, and brood production in the primary ruffed grouse range showed an increase from last year, but still remained below the long term mean. Ruffed grouse are currently coming out of their cyclic low, an increase in breeding grouse and brood production shows the expected increase which will build to a cyclic high in a few years," said Dhuey. "While some areas of the primary ruffed grouse range will be better than others, it appears that ruffed grouse numbers should be at least similar or better than last year."

Ruffed Grouse season opens in the primary portion of their range, Zone A, Sept. 16. For more information regarding ruffed grouse management in Wisconsin, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, keywords "ruffed grouse."

Pheasant

The number of pheasant broods seen per observer-hour was up 8.8 percent in 2017 compared to last year. Pheasant broods per observer-hour while higher than last year, were 59.4 percent below their long-term mean. Pheasant brood production was a mixed bag with a large increase in the primary (82.4 percent) pheasant range but a decrease in the secondary (-52.3 percent) pheasant range from the 2016 levels. Pheasant brood size was unchanged, with an average of 4.7 young per brood in both 2016 and 2017.

"While pheasant breeding and brood production numbers have rebounded a bit from 2016 levels, overall breeding numbers have been declining for several years and pheasant numbers are down from the highs of the 1990s," said Dhuey. "Overall pheasant numbers are likely impacted by declining grassland habitat due to losses in Conservation Reserve Program grassland acres throughout the pheasant range."

Pheasant season opens statewide Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. For more information regarding pheasant management in Wisconsin, search keyword "pheasant."

Turkey

"Wild turkeys also saw an increase in brood production, with a statewide increase of 47.8 percent in the number of broods seen per observer-hour over last year's level. Four of the five turkey regions saw increases, northeast (28.2 percent), northern (88.7 percent), southcentral (16.9 percent), and western (25.2 percent), only the southeast saw a decrease (-33.4 percent). The size of those broods did show a decrease though, from 4.5 in 2016 to 4.1 this summer," Dhuey said.

"Turkeys, like the other two game bird species, saw increases from the previous year, but were below their long-term mean in broods per observer hour."

The fall turkey season opens statewide in all zones Sept. 16. Fall turkey permits have been issued via US mail, and leftover tags are currently available. For more information regarding wild turkey management in Wisconsin, search for keywords "wild turkey management."

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The Pocket Ranger Application is being discontinued immediately

A new app is in the works

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has notified the developers of the Pocket Ranger mobile app that the agency is terminating its agreement and has requested that steps be taken to shut down both the Wisconsin Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife Guide Pocket Ranger and the Wisconsin State Parks & Forests Guide Pocket Ranger mobile apps immediately.

While the Pocket Ranger app has been a valuable tool over the past several years, there has been a decline in service and support for the app as technology changes and upgrades have been made to various mobile device operating systems by other companies. Pocket Ranger has not been able to keep up with those technology upgrades and as a result no longer works on certain operating systems or in some cases is providing inaccurate information.

"Rest assured, the idea of offering a similar application is not going away," said DNR Spokesman Jim Dick. "We are committed to finding a replacement for this application that will meet your needs and expectations and ours. We regret any confusion this may cause for our customers but given the circumstances, our only option is to discontinue the use of the current application."

Since versions of this app, already downloaded, contain information that may not be correct, customers should discontinue use of both the Wisconsin Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife Guide Pocket Ranger and the Wisconsin State Parks & Forests Guide Pocket Ranger mobile apps.

People should continue to visit the department's mobile-friendly website at dnr.wi.gov to access current information on hunting, fishing, trapping and outdoor recreation opportunities in Wisconsin.

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Premier wildlife art contest coming to UW-Stevens Point

MADISON - Anyone with an interest in art, stamp collecting, hunting, migratory birds, decoy carving or wetland conservation is encouraged to attend the 2017 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest Sept. 15-16 in Stevens Point.

Public art viewing and contest judging will take place in the Noel Fine Arts Center on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus, with doors opening to the public at 9 a.m. on each day. A schedule of events, which includes many activities for the whole family, can be found on the Duck Stamp Contest website (all links in this news release exit DNR).

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point will host this premier event in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A panel of five judges will determine this year's contest winner, which will appear on the 2018-19 Federal Duck Stamp.

The top three entries from each category of the 2018 Wisconsin Wildlife Stamp groups (waterfowl, turkey and pheasant) will be on display at a Department of Natural Resources display at the event. DNR staff will also be present to share information about how people can support the State Wildlife Stamp programs, and the habitat projects they support.

All waterfowl hunters age 16 and older must purchase and carry a Federal Duck Stamp. In addition to hunters, many conservationists, artists, collectors, bird watchers and other outdoor recreationists also buy the stamps to support wildlife conservation.

To date, Duck Stamp sales have raised more than $950 million, which has been used to protect nearly six million acres for birds and other wildlife. The Duck Stamp is considered one of the most successful conservation programs ever initiated and is a highly effective way to conserve America's natural resources. For every dollar spent on Duck Stamps, 98 cents go towards acquiring vital habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.

Wisconsin is a major contributor to Duck Stamp revenue and ranks in the top five for number of waterfowl hunters across the country. Over the years, the program has had a significant impact in Wisconsin, helping to protect the following areas:

You can learn more about the history of the Federal Duck Stamp as well as how to purchase stamps.

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Forestry leader inducted into Hall of Fame

STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- Miles K. Benson, a longtime leader of sustainable forestry, is being inducted into the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame on September 13, 2017. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources submitted the nomination for Benson.

"Miles Benson had a lifelong commitment to sustainable forestry," said DNR Chief State Forester Fred Souba Jr. "He believed responsible environmental policy can be integrated with sound business practices to benefit forest products companies, shareholders, customers and the public."

Benson (1937-2014) started his forestry career as a researcher in forest genetics at the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton. He made strong contributions to tree seedling nursery operations, reforestation technologies and sustainable forest management practices. Benson finished his career at Consolidated Papers Inc., in Wisconsin Rapids, and was active in retirement with many landowner groups and other forestry organizations.

"As a member of DNR's Forest Stewardship Committee, he helped shape the implementation of the Forest Legacy Program and was a valued partner of state forestry programs," said Souba.

Benson also helped develop and implement the Habitat Conservation Plan for the Karner blue butterfly and worked to ensure new statutory language reflected the sustainable management taking place on state-owned forest lands.

Benson will join early Wisconsin Hall of Fame inductees E.M. Griffith, Wisconsin's first chief state forester from 1905-1915, and Frederick G. Wilson, one of the first foresters hired by the state in 1911, who gave 41 years of dedicated service.

Founded in 1984, the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who contributed significantly to the practice and progress of forestry in the state. The Department of Natural Resources is a founding member, one of the 10 organizations in the coalition.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point's College of Natural Resources displays plaques of all inductees and is open to the public free-of-charge during school hours. The online version is on the Wisconsin Society of American Foresters website (exit DNR).

Benson's plaque will read: "Firmly grounded in forest history, Miles K. Benson advanced the practice of sustainable forestry. A commitment to the scientific basis of forestry shaped his professional career. His belief that everyone needs to work together to accomplish sustainable forestry led to his active involvement in many forestry groups. This respected pulpwood industry leader pioneered a new era of sustainable forestry investments in Wisconsin, thanks to his keen mind, pragmatic insights, and even-keeled personality."

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Incidental take notice for Richland, Iowa and Grant counties

MADISON -- The proposed Y124 transmission line project from Boscobel to Lone Rock may result in the "incidental taking" of a rare bird, dragonfly, turtle and fish under an authorization the Department of Natural Resources proposes to issue for the project. 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 Y124 69 kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project is a rebuild and partial re-route of an existing transmission line between Boscobel and Muscoda in Grant County, then onto Avoca in Iowa County, and then terminates at Lone Rock in Richland County. The Project is owned by American Transmission Company (ATC). Significant portions of the line are proposed for re-route into a combined utility, railroad, and road right-of-way (ROW) to avoid sensitive resource areas.

The presence of the state threatened cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea), state endangered and federally endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana), state endangered ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata), and state endangered starhead topminnow (Fundulus dispar) have been confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some birds, dragonflies, turtles and fish.

Department staff concluded that the proposed project will minimize the impacts to the species by adhering to conservation measures; is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence and recovery of the state population of the species or the whole plant-animal community of which they are a part; and has benefit to the public health, safety or welfare that justifies the action.

The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the rare species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the cerulean warbler, Hine's emerald dragonfly, ornate box turtle and starhead topminnow are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Stacy Rowe (608-266-7012 or stacy.rowe@wi.gov). The department is requesting comments from the public through October 14, 2017. Public comments should be sent to Stacy Rowe, DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921or stacy.rowe@wi.gov.

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
Director of Communications
608-267-2773