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DNR: Rare turtles at risk in Wausau pipeline project

in News

By Shereen Siewert

The proposed Wausau Siphon Pipeline Crossing may result in the “incidental taking” of a rare turtle under a permit the Department of Natural Resources proposes to issue for the project, according to a DNR news release issued Thursday.

The state threatened wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) 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 turtles.

“Incidental take” refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants.

Construction of an approximately 1,100-foot double barrel siphon crossing of the Wisconsin River to replace a failing single pipeline siphon is planned. The siphon consists of 12-foot and 18-foot pipelines buried with 2 feet of cover over the pipelines. The waterway crossing is approximately 900 feet in length.

Conservation measures to minimize the adverse impact on the threatened species will be incorporated into a proposed “Incidental Take Permit,” officials said, and the actions are not expected to put the overall population of the species at risk.

The department is requesting comments from the public through Sept. 26, 2019 regarding project-related impacts to the wood turtle. Public comments should be sent to Rori Paloski, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921or rori.paloski@wi.gov.

Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the wood turtle are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice.

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