Contact(s): Stacy Rowe, DNR conservation biologist, 608-266-7012
February 19, 2019
MADISON - A bridge replacement project on U.S. Highway 14 in Walworth County may result in the "incidental taking" of two rare snake species 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 Wisconsin Department of Transportation proposes to rehabilitate 2.8 miles and reconstruct 0.4 miles of Highway 14 pavement between State Highway 11 and Interstate 43. Construction is anticipated from April 2019 to September 2019. The pavement will be reconstructed to accommodate the removal of a two-span structure and construction of a new single span prestressed concrete girder structure.
The presence of the state endangered eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) and the state endangered queensnake (Regina septemvittata) 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 snakes.
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 these endangered species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the eastern massasauga and queensnake are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Stacy Rowe (608-266-7012 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The department is requesting comments from the public through March 21, 2019 regarding project-related impacts to the Eastern Massasauga or Queensnake. Public comments should be sent to Stacy Rowe, Wisconsin DNR-NH/6, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or email@example.com.