USFWS Reclassifies the Northern Long-Eared Bat as EndangeredDec 01, 2022 10:47AM ● By Content Editor
From the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) - November 30, 2022
On November 30, 2022, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that the northern long-eared bat has been up-listed from threatened to endangered status under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA); please visit the USFWS northern long-eared bat webpage and Federal Register notice for more information and resources. The up-listing will take effect in 60 days, beginning on January 30, 2023.
Implications for Landowners Conducting Forest Management Activities
Between now and when the up-listing becomes effective on January 30, 2023, the DNR encourages landowners to continue to follow the current northern long-eared bat 4(d) rule. After January 30, 2023 the DNR encourages landowners to follow any USFWS-issued guidance for landowners. The USFWS is developing “general timber management guidance that will aid in assessing risk and provide recommendations to avoid and minimize impacts to northern long-eared bats” (USFWS Frequently Asked Questions document included in the northern long-eared bat webpage above). Landowners can consult with the FWS Minnesota-Wisconsin Ecological Services Field Office about their activities and complying with the ESA.
The USFWS will soon issue the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) as a result of completing the Lake States Forest Management Bat Habitat Conservation Plan (Bat HCP). Through the ITP, the DNR will administer a Landowner Enrollment Program (LEP), which will allow the DNR to extend take authorization to eligible nonfederal landowners whose activities may take northern long-eared bats. Information about the LEP will be forthcoming in a future notice.