MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proposes to issue a permit for the incidental taking of a rare turtle, which may result from the State Game Farm West Field Project in Columbia County. The game farm is located next to the MacKenzie Center near Poynette.

Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the species’ overall population at risk.

The DNR is seeking to develop an agricultural field on the State Game Farm site in order to enable the farm to produce its own straw, reducing budget cost. The project will result in a permanent loss of 20 acres of grassland habitat that will be converted to agriculture.

The presence of the state endangered ornate box turtle is confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some turtles.

The DNR concludes that the proposed project will minimize the impacts to the species by adhering to conservation measures, is unlikely 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.

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 ornate box turtle are available by visiting the DNR Incidental Take Public Notices webpage or upon request from DNR Conservation Biologist Rori Paloski at 608-516-3742 or [email protected].

The public is encouraged to submit written comments regarding project-related impacts to the ornate box turtle by April 15, 2022 to:

Department of Natural Resources
c/o Rori Paloski, DNR Conservation Biologist
101 S. Webster St. Madison, WI 53707
[email protected] or 608-516-3742

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