Incidental take notice for Columbia County

Discussion in 'Outdoor News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. By Central Office August 5, 2016

    Contact(s): Rori Paloski, 608-264-6040

    MADISON -- The rebuild of Y-16 69kV transmission line 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.

    American Transmission Company LLC and ATC Management Inc., its corporate manager, known collectively as American Transmission Company ("ATC" or "Applicant) will rebuild existing Line Y16 based on its aging condition and documented substantial reliability issues. The Project consists of rebuilding approximately 24.7 miles of existing 69 kV single-circuit line (Line Y16) from the Dam Heights Substation in Sauk County to the Portage Substation in Columbia County. Concurrent with the Y16 rebuild, approximately 0.6 miles of the existing Y-110 line will be rebuilt where it is double-circuited on shared structures with Y16, just outside the Portage substation. Substation work will take place at the Dam Heights and Portage substations. Line Y16 will be constructed on steel, single-pole, single-circuit tangent structures, replacing the existing single-circuit lattice towers. The typical right-of-way (ROW) will be 80 feet wide, except through federal lands where the existing 50-foot ROW will be maintained. This proposed Incidental Take Authorization (ITA) only covers a portion of this project.

    The presence of the state endangered eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) 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.

    The Department has concluded 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.

    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 eastern massasauga are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Rori Paloski (608-264-6040 or [email protected]). The department is requesting comments from the public through August 18th. Public comments should be sent to Rori Paloski, WDNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921or [email protected].

    Last Revised: Friday, August 05, 2016