Rowe, Stacy A - DNR
I just wanted to follow-up on this email, and I apologize that it took a little while to respond. Thank you for your inquiries regarding the wood turtle and other species that could be impacted by the bulk sampling. I should start out by saying that under usual procedures, endangered resources (ER) reviews are not released to the public and that this review was made available in error. The amendment and any future ER reviews will not be made available to the public. This is because natural heritage inventory data (rare species information) are exempt from the Open Records Law per State Statute 23.27 (3) (b).
To answer your questions, typical wood turtle avoidance measures include avoiding areas of appropriate habitat (within streams and up to 300m away from streams). If that can’t be done, then reptile exclusion fencing would need to be put in place during the turtle’s overwintering period. If that can’t be done and no other alternatives for avoiding take of the species were available, then an Incidental Take Permit would be needed to proceed with the project.
Wisconsin’s Endangered Species Law protects against direct take of an endangered/threatened species. Dust, noise and vibrations occurring from blasting near the project site while it would be an environmental concern, it is considered an indirect impact to the species that would not result in direct take and therefore could not be regulated.
Lastly, I do not have any research that the certified reviewer did in preparation for the review. I can assure you though, that the department takes the health of its endangered and threatened species seriously, and that potential impacts will be considered throughout the process.
I hope this answers your questions, but please let me know if you further inquiries regarding endangered resources.
Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation