Incidental Take Permit Issued on Low Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for Michigan Electric Transmission
On April 8, 2005, the Service issued an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) to Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (Applicant) for a 5-year period for one covered species pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Service made a determination that approval of the proposed Plan qualified as a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 6, Appendix 1, Section 1.4C(2)) and as a “low-effect” plan as defined by the Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). Determination of Low-effect Habitat Conservation Plans was based on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the proposed Plan would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the proposed Plan would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) impacts of the proposed Plan, considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not result in cumulative effects to environmental values or resources which would be considered significant.
Prior to issuing the permit, the Service announced a 30 public comment period through the Federal Register and a statewide press release. No comments were received on issuing the proposed permit.
The application addresses the potential for “take” of the endangered Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) associated with reconductoring a 4.07-mile segment of electric power transmission line within this right-of-way segment running from east-central Muskegon County into the southwest corner of Newaygo County, Michigan. A conservation program to mitigate for the project activities will be implemented as described in the proposed Cobb to Brickyard Reconductoring Low Effect Habitat Conservation Plan (proposed Plan), which will be implemented by the Applicant.
Pertinent documents are available below. Copies may also be obtained from by contacting Peter Fasbender via telephone at (612)713-5343, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to Mr. Fasbender at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, Minnesota 55111-4056.