Conservation Alert: Sauk County Issues Incidental Take Notice

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is considering issuing an authorization for the incidental taking of a rare turtle as a result of the WIS 23 (US 14 to County GG) project.

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 proposed improvements by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for WIS 23 include milling and removing 2 inches of existing asphalt, utilizing the Cold In-Place Recycling (CIR) process to mill and relay 3 inches of the existing asphalt pavement, and overlaying the entire roadway width with 3 inches of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA).

The proposed typical section for WIS 23 comprises one 12-foot travel lane in each direction with a 5-foot-wide shoulder (5-foot paved) on the left and right-hand sides.

Right-of-way acquisition will be necessary for roadway side slope corrections identified through the preliminary design process.

However, no right-of-way will be acquired in the location of the ornate box turtle habitat. Construction of the project is scheduled for summer 2024.

The additional WIS 23 roadway improvements include the replacement of existing guardrail and end terminals to meet current standards, the addition of centerline rumble strips and shoulder rumble strips for safety, and the replacement of existing signing and pavement markings to upgrade to current standards.

The presence of the state-endangered ornate box turtle has been confirmed in the vicinity of the project site.

The DNR staff has determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some turtles.

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The DNR has concluded that the proposed project will minimize impacts to the species by adhering to conservation measures.

It is also determined that the project 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.

Additionally, it has been stated that the project has benefits to the public health, safety, or welfare that justify the action.

Conservation measures to minimize the adverse effects on the endangered species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization.

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 Stacy Rowe at [email protected] or 608-228-9796.

The public is encouraged to submit written comments regarding project-related impacts to the ornate box turtle by November 22, 2023. Comments can be submitted to the following address:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
c/o Stacy Rowe, DNR Conservation Biologist
2514 Morse St.
Janesville, WI 53545
[email protected] or 608-228-9796


How To Take Care Of Ornate Box Turtle?

The striking shell pattern and friendly demeanor of the Ornate box turtle never cease to captivate observers.

When I first encountered this species during my initial foray into turtle-keeping, I was determined to have one as my own.

However, upon delving into the care guidelines, I was disheartened. Caring for an Ornate box turtle is no easy task for beginners.

The care requirements for an Ornate box turtle center around four fundamental aspects, including ensuring a spacious enclosure with appropriate arrangements, providing a healthy diet, addressing any minor health issues, and maintaining a clean and hygienic habitat.

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Fortunately, one year into my journey with turtles, I finally acquired an Ornate box turtle. Drawing from my personal experience, I am writing this article to share insights on caring for an Ornate box turtle.

Keep reading to discover the finer details of caring for this species. Learn everything here, How To Take Care Of Ornate Box Turtle?

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