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May 6, 2014

MADISON -- A broad incidental take permit and authorization for grassland and savanna management in Wisconsin would be revised to include the greater prairie chicken, under a proposal from the Department of Natural Resources that is open for public comment.

The permit and authorization allows for the "incidental taking" of specific endangered and threatened species that may occur as a result of grassland and savanna management activities in Wisconsin. 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 proposes to revise the Broad Incidental Take Authorization for Grassland and Savanna Management was originally approved in 2000 and has since been revised several times. This revision will update protocols for one threatened species: greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus).

The disturbance caused by grassland and savanna management may result in some mortality, however grassland and savanna species are dependent upon management to set back natural succession and take is minimized by following protocols designed for each species. Department staff concluded that the grassland and savanna management activities covered under this permit and authorization would minimize impacts to the greater prairie chicken by adhering to conservation measures; is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence or appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and/or recovery of the state population of this species or the whole plant-animal community of which it is a part and the habitat that is critical to its existence; 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 Permit/Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the greater prairie chicken are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Rori Paloski at 608-264-6040. Public comments will be taken through June 5, 2014 and should be sent to Rori Paloski, Conservation Biologist, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Rori Paloski at 608-264-6040

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 06, 2014

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