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Stay Connected on WDNR Wetland and Waterway Permitting Changes

by Tina Myers 25. February 2013 08:30

There have been many changes over the past year regarding the WDNR’s wetland and waterway permitting process.  For example, DNR launched an electronic online permitting system for Individual Permits (IP) about a year ago which helped streamline the permitting process.  While many activities have an online process currently available, there are still some activities that do not. If you have a project planned, it is important to check the website for updates. A link to the WDNR’s article regarding this new online system can be found here: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/Weekly/?id=367#art2

Here’s another brief update regarding General Permits (GPs) for wetland disturbance:  In addition to Individual Permits (IPs) for wetland disturbance, there are also currently two types of GP applications available that are specific to project type; one of them is for “Commercial, Residential, and Industrial” projects, while the other is for “Municipal Highways, Bridges, Arches, and Culverts.”  We can expect to see other GPs specific to “Recreational Use” and “Utilities” hopefully in the near future.  For those familiar with the Practicable Alternatives Analysis (PAA) process pertaining to wetland disturbance, there are also activity-based PAA Supplements currently being drafted by the WDNR that should also soon become available.  These supplements will help guide applicants through the wetland impact avoidance/minimize analysis which must be considered by each applicant.  For more information about wetland permits click on this link: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Waterways/construction/wetlands.html#grade

If you have any questions about the current permit process or need wetlands and waterways delineated for your project, the ecologists at R.A. Smith National can provide the assistance you need.  Please contact Tina Myers at (262) 317-3389 or Heather Patti at (262) 317-3361.

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Ecology

Protecting Rare Bird Species

by Tina Myers 9. January 2013 11:10

There are many considerations when planning a project, but what happens when you find out that you may have a rare species of bird nesting within or near your work zone?  For most projects that require Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) permits (i.e. stormwater, wetland, waterway permits), a Natural Heritage Inventory  (NHI) request must be submitted to the WDNR’s Bureau of Endangered Resources (BER) to determine which rare species of animals and plants, if any, may be present and whether or not a permit will be necessary to conduct certain activities.  In the case of Endangered and Threatened bird species, there may be several ways of protecting them, their nests, and their habitat. Early coordination with the WDNR is essential. 

The WDNR's list of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern bird species provides an overview of habitat requirements and typical breeding/nesting periods (avoidance periods). This list is occasionally revised based on new information/research collected by the WDNR’s BER. For example, the barn owl, snowy egret, and Bewick’s wren have been proposed for de-listing, while other species such as black tern, Kirtland’s warbler, and the upland sandpiper have been proposed for listing.  For more information, please contact Tina Myers (262) 317-3389 or Heather Patti (262) 317-3361, R.A. Smith National ecologists.  Our ecological team is highly familiar with the NHI process and we have completed a number of rare species habitat assessments and surveys, including rare bird surveys.

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