Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Press Release

Incidental Take Notice for Racine County

 

By - Jul 20th, 2020 03:02 pm
Department of Natural Resources

Department of Natural Resources

MADISON, Wis. – A Wisconsin Department of Transportation bridge replacement project in Racine may result in the “incidental taking” of a rare snake 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.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s proposed project consists of replacing the existing historic structure at the West 6th Street Bridge in Racine and upgrading the roadway approaches on either side to match the new structure. The existing structure has two-spans that cross Horlick Park Drive and the Root River. The bridge is eligible for the National Register as a distinctive and intact example of an open-spandrel concrete arch bridge.

The proposed replacement structure will be a two-span bridge with aesthetic enhancements to commemorate the historic nature of the existing bridge. Horlick Park Drive will be reconstructed under the new bridge.

The presence of 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 and 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.

The 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 Queensnake are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Stacy Rowe.

The department is requesting comments from the public through Aug. 19, 2020 regarding project-related impacts to the Queensnake. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, comments should be sent via email or phone to Stacy Rowe at 608-266-7012 or stacy.rowe@wisconsin.gov but they can also be mailed to Stacy Rowe, NHC/6, P.O Box 7921., Madison, WI 53707-7921.

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