Contact(s): Stacy Rowe, conservation biologist, 608-266-7012
MADISON - The Hatfield Power Canal Embankment Repairs may result in the "incidental taking" of a rare turtle 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.
Black River Partner's proposed design includes flattening the left embankment slopes with suitable embankment fill in all three areas noted for repair work and, in addition, constructing a pervious two stage filter under the protective embankment fill section in the complete portion of two of the areas and in a portion of the third area (north of Highway K). The repair will be constructed using drain fill, embankment fill, and rock fill.
Current land use within the project limits consist solely of constructed earthen embankments for a power canal. The embankment slopes are grassed and regularly maintained by routine mowing although grass is not growing dense enough to fall under the No/Low Broad Incidental Take Permit, which makes it suitable nesting habitat for the wood turtle.
The presence of the state threatened wood turtle (Glyptemys Insculpta) 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.
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 it is a part or the habitat that is critical to its existence.
The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the threatened species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Permit. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the wood turtle 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 July 19, 2019 regarding project-related impacts to the wood turtle. Public comments should be sent to Stacy Rowe, WDNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or email@example.com.