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NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 684 days

Proposed Badger Coulee Transmission Line Soil Borings within Segment 6 may result in the incidental take of rare moth and butterfly

Published by Central Office February 2, 2016

Contact(s): Rori Paloski, Conservation Biologist, (608) 264-6040, Rori.Paloski@wisconsin.gov

MADISON -- The Badger Coulee Transmission Line soil borings within Segment 6 of the project may result in the "incidental taking" of a rare moth and butterfly 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 Badger Coulee 345 kV Transmission Line Project is a proposed new transmission line between northern La Crosse County and northern Dane County. The Project is jointly owned by American Transmission Company (ATC); Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC); Northern States Power Company, a Wisconsin corporation (NSPW); SMMPA Wisconsin, LLC (SMMPA Wisconsin), and WPPI Energy (WPPI). ATC will be the Project's construction manager, acting on behalf of itself and its co-owners. The Project is a new, predominantly single-circuit 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between northern La Crosse County and northern Dane County. In the La Crosse area, the line will connect to the Briggs Road Substation in the town of Onalaska. In Dane County, the line will connect to the North Madison Substation in the Town of Vienna and continue to its termination at the Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton. The Project consists of eight construction segments (Segments 1 through 8) and also extends through Columbia, Sauk, Juneau, Monroe, Jackson, and Trempealeau counties for a total length of approximately 187 miles. This incidental take authorization only covers soil borings within Segment 6 of the project.

The presence of the state endangered phlox moth (Schinia Indiana) and state threatened frosted elfin (Callophrys irus) has been confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some moths and butterflies.

The department has concluded that the proposed project will minimize 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 endangered/threatened species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the phlox moth and frosted elfin are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Rori Paloski (608-264-6040 or rori.paloski@wi.gov). The department is requesting comments from the public through February 16, 2016. Public comments should be sent to Rori Paloski, WDNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921or rori.paloski@wi.gov.

Last Revised: Tuesday, February 02, 2016

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