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Incidental take notice and amendment for Richland, Iowa and Grant counties

POSTED August 2, 2018 2:19 p.m.

BOSCOBEL – A proposed electrical transmission line project from Boscobel to Lone Rock may result in the "incidental taking" of a rare turtle under an authorization amendment 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 Y124 69 kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project is a rebuild and partial re-route of an existing transmission line between Boscobel and Muscoda in Grant County, then onto Avoca in Iowa County, and then terminates at Lone Rock in Richland County. The Project is owned by American Transmission Company (ATC). Significant portions of the line are proposed for re-route into a combined utility, railroad, and road right-of-way (ROW) to avoid sensitive resource areas.

The presence of the state endangered ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata) have 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 amendment will minimize the impacts to the species by adhering to revised 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 revised conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the rare species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization amendment.

Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the ornate box turtle 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 August 15, 2018. Public comments should be sent to Stacy Rowe, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921or stacy.rowe@wi.gov.

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