raSmith provided a wetland delineation and rare species survey for a proposed 675.5-acre mining site in Oakdale, Wisconsin. Prior to the fieldwork, a review of available maps and other information was evaluated to determine the possible extent of wetlands and waterways within the site and to determine where possible habitat might exist for the Federally Endangered Karner Blue Butterfly (KBB). An initial site reconnaissance took place prior to the wetland delineation and rare species survey to further evaluate the site prior to the detailed field investigations.
The wetland delineation was performed to identify the proximity and extent of wetlands within the project area associated with the proposed mining site. Each wetland was characterized based on plant community type. The delineation resulted in the identification of 40 wetlands totaling 93.98 acres. Through raSmith’s efforts in identifying the proximity and extent of the wetlands within the project area, our client was able to dramatically reduce potential impacts to wetlands through site design changes, allowing them to continue with the permitting process.
Due to the location of the project site in the High Potential Range for the KBB, raSmith also conducted Level 1 and 2 surveys to determine if KBBs and their habitat were present. The surveys were conducted following the protocols in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) “Guide to Conducting Monitoring for the Wisconsin Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Conservation Plan.” raSmith identified one area of KBB habitat during the Level 1 survey and thus proceeded to complete Level 2 monitoring, which includes a survey to identify the presence/absence of KBB during their flight periods.