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Endangered species protection and Section 7 coordination: building consensus among agencies and the public


The Maryland Route 30 Bypass at Hampstead, Carroll County, Maryland is a long awaited 4.5 mile $27 million safety and congestion relief project proposed by the Maryland State Highway Administration (MD SHA). However, an unanticipated problem arose during the final stages of design and prior to the submittal of state and federal environmental permits. Late in 1997, the northern population of a small turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergi), the bog turtle, was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The rural residential and agricultural lands surrounding Hampstead provide essential habitat for this rare turtle. While many saw this as potential threat to the project, others saw this as an opportunity for a creative approach for habitat and species protection.

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