We get this from the WDNR.
Transmission line rebuilding may result in incidental take of rare lizard
News Release Published: September 13, 2012 by the West Central Region
Contact(s): Shari Koslowsky, 608-261-4382
EDITOR’S NOTE: Wisconsin’s endangered species law (s. 29.604, Wis. Stats.) requires the Department of Natural Resources to notify the public when it proposes to authorize the incidental taking of a state endangered or threatened species.
MADISON — The partial rebuilding of a 69 kilovolt transmission line in Adams and Juneau counties and the conversion of a section of transmission line from overhead to underground in Juneau County may result in the “incidental taking” of a lizard listed as a state endangered species under separate permits the Department of Natural Resources proposes to grant for the projects. 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 first project involves uprating the Y-146 McKenna (MCK) to Big Pond (BPD), 69 kV transmission Line. A thermal rating study identified many thermal violations that need to be fixed in order to meet the required line rating. As a result of this work, a total of 28 structures will need to be replaced.
This second project involves the retirement of approximately 3,428 feet of overhead electric conductor cable that currently crosses a wooded wetland area and the installation of approximately 4,458 feet of underground electric conductor cable along the 18th Ave road right-of-way. The existing overhead cable will be reeled in from the road right-of-way and removed from the site. The existing poles will be left in place. Underground cable will be installed primarily by plowing, with smaller segments installed via directional boring and potentially, rock trenching.
The presence of the state endangered slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus) has been confirmed in the vicinity of the project sites. DNR staff determined that the species is likely present due to the presence of suitable habitat and that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some lizards. However, the department has concluded that the proposed project is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of this species within the state, the whole plant-animal community of which it is a part or the habitat that is critical to its existence.
The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the slender glass lizard will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Permits. Copies of the jeopardy assessments and background information on the slender glass lizard are available by searching for incidental take on the DNR website or upon request from Shari Koslowsky at 608-261-4382. Public comments will be taken through September 27, 2012 and should be sent to Shari Koslowsky, DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707.
WUPN: Should they stop the rebuilding of electrical lines? We should go back to candles and lanterns. Save the Ophisaurus attenuatus! What do you think?