May 8, 2012
[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 - Restoration of wetland habitat at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area in Dane County may result in the incidental take of a rare turtle under an authorization the Department of Natural Resources proposes grant 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant for restoration and enhancement affecting approximately 900 acres of Brooklyn Wildlife Area. The goal of this project is to return the hydrology back to the historical flows by removing large sections of agricultural ditch that result in uneven water flows and increase disturbance to the wetland.
The presence of the state-threatened Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) has been confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. 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 turtles. However, they concluded that the proposed project will minimize the impacts to the turtle by adhering to conservation measures; is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence and recovery of the state population of these turtles 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 threatened species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the Blanding's turtle are available by searching for incidental take public notice on the DNR website or by contacting Rori Paloski at 608-264-6040. Public comments will be taken through June 5, 2012 and should be sent to Rori Paloski, DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, 608 PO Box 7921 Madison WI 53707-7921.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Rori Paloski - 608-264-6040