Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal — Owners, Developers and Managers — March 30 - April 12, 2012 — 9A
O WNERS , D EVELOPERS & M ANAGERS By Amy Nazdrowicz, LandmarkJCM What you need to knowabout surveying for the endangered Bog Turtle T he Bog Turtle is a small (7.5-9 cmin length), wet- land-inhabiting turtle
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If you already own the prop- erty, you can be proactive and have a Phase I Survey con- ducted or you can wait to see if agencies raise a concern dur- ing the plan review process. If you decide not to be proac- tive and the Bog Turtle issue comes up any time after mid- May, you will have to wait until the following year to conduct a Phase II Bog Turtle Survey, if one is required. DON’T DELAY! Contact your environmental consultant TODAY to see if a Bog Turtle Survey is needed now! Amy Nazdrowicz is an environmental scientist with LandmarkJCM. ■
search areas and man-hours of search effort will be approved), it is highly recommended that you speak with a qualified environmental consulting pro- fessional as soon as possible to allow adequate planning before “Bog Turtle season” (April 15 to June 15). Do Your Due Diligence. It is not uncommon for Bog Turtle surveys to be requested or required by county, state, and federal agencies during the plan review process. Under the best case sce- nario, you should have a Phase I Bog Turtle Survey conducted during the due diligence pe- riod prior to purchasing a property.
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that is feder- ally listed as “threatened” through the U.S. Endan- gered Spe - cies Act and the State of Ma r y l a n d , and is listed
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as “endangered” by the states of Delaware, New Jersey, and the Commonwealth of Pennsyl- vania. Under State and Feder- al regulations, it is unlawful to sell, trade, barter, possess, im- port, export, catch, take, or kill Bog Turtles. State and Federal regulations also outline strict, seasonal methods associated with the required surveying of project sites for Bog Turtles and their habitat. Unique planning challenges are presented by Bog Turtles because their secretive na- ture and seasonal activeness restricts the time of year that Phase II Bog Turtle Surveys can be executed to just April 15 through June 15. Luckily, the Bog Turtle’s habitat requirements are spe- cific enough that a property can be surveyed for the presence of potential bog turtle habitat with minimal seasonal restric- tions. This “Phase I Bog Turtle Survey,” is designed to identify the presence or absence of suit- able Bog Turtle habitat on a site, and may be conducted by a “Recognized Qualified Bog Turtle Surveyor” at any time of the year that the ground is not frozen or covered by snow. APhase II Bog Turtle Survey will be required if potential Bog Turtle habitat is found within wetlands on a property during a Phase I survey, and those wetlands cannot be provided with a 300-foot buffer from proposed development. Land development projects could be delayed until the Phase II Survey is completed. The Phase II Survey—which must be conducted between April 15 and June 15 by a team of environmental scientists led by a Recognized Qualified Bog Turtle Surveyor— involves ac- tually searching for the turtles within wetlands identified as potential Bog Turtle habitat. It consists of four (4) separate site searches, and at least two (2) MUST be conducted in May. Because agency coordination is required prior to the execu- tion of Phase II Surveys (in or- der to ensure that the proposed
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