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Incidental take notice for Grant County

By Central Office February 13, 2019

Contact(s): Stacy Rowe, conservation biologist, 608-266-7012

MADISON - The rebuild of an electric distribution line may result in the "incidental taking" of a rare turtle and fish under a permit 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.

Wisconsin Power and Light Company is planning to rebuild the overhead electric distribution line from the Blue River Substation (on the western edge of Blue River) to the eastern edge of Boscobel. The project involves installing 41 new poles. Approximately 600 feet of 3-phase underground cable will be installed about 1-mile east of the western terminus of the project. The project will be installed in conjunction with the American Transmission Company Y-124 transmission line upgrade in existing utility corridor. Separate distribution poles will be installed between the ATC transmission poles for electric distribution cable stability.

The presence of the state endangered ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata) and starhead topminnow (Fundulus dispar) 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 turtles and fish.

Department staff concluded that the proposed project is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of the species within the state, the whole plant-animal community of which they are a part or the habitat that is critical to their existence.

The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the endangered species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Permit. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the 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 March 15, 2019 regarding project-related impacts to the ornate box turtle and starhead topminnow. Public comments should be sent to Stacy Rowe, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or stacy.rowe@wi.gov.

Last Revised: Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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