Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Press Release

Incidental Take Notice For Columbia County


By - May 15th, 2024 11:02 am

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proposes to issue an authorization for the incidental taking of a rare lizard and turtle, which may result from the I-90/94 at County Highway CS Restoration Project in Columbia County.

Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the species’ overall population at risk.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is proposing several tasks at the I-90/94 and County Highway CS interchange to establish native perennial species as a result of previous activities conducted by WisDOT and the Columbia County Highway Department. These tasks include site preparation for seeding, slope reconstruction, final seeding and erosion control installation. The proposed work is expected to begin with site cleanup in early 2024 and seeding and erosion control installation between May – July 2024. Additional maintenance tasks will also be needed to promote the establishment of native perennial vegetation. These tasks include spot herbicide treatments, management mowings and vegetation monitoring and are expected to take place for up to two growing seasons (2025 – 2026) after the native seed install.

The presence of the state endangered ornate box turtle and slender glass lizard are confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some lizards and turtles.

The DNR concludes that the proposed project will minimize the impacts on 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 it is a part and has benefit to the public health, safety or welfare that justifies the action.

Conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the endangered species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the ornate box turtle and slender glass lizard are available by visiting the DNR Incidental Take Public Notices webpage or upon request from DNR conservation biologist Stacy Rowe at 608-228-9796 or Stacy.Rowe@wisconsin.gov.

The public is encouraged to submit written comments regarding project-related impacts on the ornate box turtle and slender glass lizard by June 14, 2024, to:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
c/o Stacy Rowe, DNR Conservation Biologist
2514 Morse St.
Janesville, WI 53545
Stacy.Rowe@wisconsin.gov or 608-228-9796

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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