Incidental Take Notice For Rock County
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Incidental Take Notice For Rock County

Jun 03, 2023

Contact: Stacy Rowe, DNR Conservation [email protected] or 608-228-9796

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proposes to issue an authorization for the incidental taking of a rare turtle, which may result from the Rock County Reliability Project.

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.

American Transmission Company’s project involves expansion and upgrades to the Kittyhawk Substation, a new transmission line build (X-126) between the Kittyhawk Substation and Townline Road Substation and the re-building of a portion of the existing X-23 and Y-72 transmission lines between the Riverside Substation and Turtle Substation. The project areas are separated by the Rock River and associated with the larger Riverside and West Riverside Energy Centers.

The Kittyhawk Substation expansion work will require development of an existing upland fallow field, and the proposed X-126 transmission line occurs primarily within existing industrial developed land associated with the Riverside and West Riverside Energy Centers. The existing and proposed X-23 and Y-72 right-of-ways (ROW) traverse the Rock River, Rock River riparian wetland complex including cleared and uncleared forested and shrub wetlands and herbaceous wetlands, maintained WisDOT right-of-ways, agricultural fields, farmed wetlands, cleared and uncleared wooded uplands and grassland areas. The areas of proposed right-of-way expansion along X-23 east of Hwy 51 include similar land cover. The project also includes off right-of-way access routes and laydown yards which are associated with existing gravel quarries, gravel roads and otherwise developed areas. No clearing is anticipated along the off right-of-way access routes or for the laydown yards.

The presence of the state endangered ornate box turtle is confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some turtles.

The DNR concludes that the proposed project will minimize the impacts to 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 are available by visiting the DNR Incidental Take Public Notices webpage or upon request from DNR Conservation Biologist Stacy Rowe at [email protected] or 608-228-9796.

The public is encouraged to submit written comments regarding project-related impacts to the ornate box turtle by July 19, 2023 to:

Department of Natural Resourcesc/o Stacy Rowe, DNR Conservation Biologist2514 Morse St.Janesville, WI 535450 [email protected] or 608-228-9796