Wildlife Study Required for Pettengill Road Project

A memo (Londonderry-Memorandum-2009-12-29) sent by Londonderry Public Works Director Janusz Czyzowski to John Kanter and Michael Marchand at New Hampshire Fish and Game, Mark Kern at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and then town manager Dave Caron, dated Dec. 29, 2009, acknowledges Fish and Game’s concerns (NHFG-Letter-2009-08-21) over impacts to threatened and endangered species from the proposed construction of Pettengill Road and a related sewer interceptor, as well as from future commercial/industrial development in northwest Londonderry that would be facilitated by those projects (See Related Story: Agreement Adds Cost).

The memo goes on to summarize the Town’s understanding of Fish and Game’s requirements for the planning and approval process in that area.

“The requirements provide for a two part approach,” Czyzowski wrote. “To address (those) concerns, the project plans and contract documents for the Town’s Pettengill Road and…Pettengill Road Sewer Interceptor projects shall include the following requirements: The Construction Administration task shall include the requirement to use a wildlife biologist to conduct on site evaluation of the project areas to be disturbed at two key milestones of the construction operations: Prior to clearing and grubbing operations, (and) prior to the start of earthwork operations. To the extent possible, on-site evaluations will be conducted during the active season of eastern hognose snakes (April-late September).”

Another stipulation is “if an Eastern hognose snake or black racer is encountered at any time during construction,… Marchand is to be contacted immediately. Any hognose snakes encountered during this phase will be captured and monitored with the use of surgically-implanted transmitters. Snakes will be moved outside of the construction zone.”

Finally, the memo notes that the Town will work with Fish and Game wildlife biologists “to ensure that habitats currently owned or conserved in the Town will be managed to positively benefit these species.”

The memo states that Fish and Game’s goal is “to initiate planning for the protection of the Eastern hognose snake, black racer and the New England Cottontail rabbit in the entire area prior to individual parcels being proposed for development.”

A second portion of the document addresses future development of abutting properties, noting Fish and Game’s concern that a parcel by parcel review “would result in a reduced ability to maintain wildlife species within the larger area and reduce the flexibility in design and identifying solutions. Fish and Game believes that the pre-permitting planning of Part B (abutting properties) will reduce future delays and costs associated with potential project design alterations and/or the need to conduct wildlife surveys at a later point.

“Therefore, Fish and Game requires additional wildlife survey, beyond that required for the Part A projects, be conducted simultaneously with the start of construction of either the Pettengill Road or sewer interceptor projects.”

Pettengill-Map-2014-0320

The memo also states, “The Town understands that any future state and/or federal permitting activities within the survey area will require an assessment of methods to minimize impacts to endangered and threatened wildlife. The Town also understands that the site is known to provide habitat for, at a minimum, the state endangered eastern hognose snake,” and mitigation may be required.

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