WI wastewater treatment project may result in incidental take of rare lizard

The upgrade of a wastewater treatment plant in Sauk County may result in the incidental taking of a rare lizard.

Nov 9th, 2012

MADISON, WI, Nov. 8, 2012 -- The upgrade of a wastewater treatment plant in Sauk County may result in the incidental taking of a rare lizard under a permit 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.

The Christmas Mountain Sanitary District’s 2012 Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade project includes constructing a 6-inch force main from an existing drip irrigation pumping station to a wetland distribution system. A portion of the open trench and underground directional bore construction work occurs in an area of the Oaks Golf Course.

The presence of the state endangered slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus) has been confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR has determined that the species is likely present due to the presence of suitable habitat and environement and that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some lizards.

The project will employ conservation measures to minimize impacts to the slender glass lizard. Temporary impacts to the soil and vegetation will occur as a result of the project but the impacts are expected to be minimal and the habitat is expected to return to its previous condition.

Department staff 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 endangered species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Permit. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the slender glass lizard are available on the incidental take pages of the DNR website. Public comments will be taken through Nov. 22, 2012 to Rori Paloski, DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, PO Box 7921, Madison, Wis., 53707-7921.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT or a copy of the proposed permit contact: Rori Paloski, DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, 608-264-6040.

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