Northern Long-Eared Bat

On October 2, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued their 12-month finding indicating that the northern long-eared bat warranted listing under the Endangered Species Act and proposed to list the species as endangered throughout its range, which includes 38 states and the District of Columbia. The USFWS determined that designation of critical habitat was not determinable at this time but will make a determination no later than 1 year following any final listing. The listing of the species would potentially have a marked effect on landowners with woodlands and other potential habitat used by the species. This includes landowners conducting timber management activities on their property(s). An article appearing in a Wisconsin newspaper, The Lakeland Times, on September 2, 2014, discussed the effects of the proposed listing of the northern long-eared bat on the timber industry. The author, an investigative reporter, indicated that representatives of the timber industry and state agencies are concerned about the economic impacts of following guidance[1] recommended by the USFWS for limiting or excluding timber harvesting in Wisconsin and the Midwest between April 1 and September 30 of each year, which is the season for spring staging and summer maternity colonization for the northern long-eared bat. The likely approach the USFWS will take in the regulation of the bat is discussed, conjecturing that they may be strict in their regulation of timber management. Environmentalists have already demonstrated that they will be an integral third player, in addition to their petition action. The author cited an instance in Pennsylvania where the CBD has objected to an application by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Department of Natural Resources for incidental take permits under Section 10 of the ESA to take the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat for conducting forestry activities on 3.9 million acres of state managed lands. The CBD indicated in a letter of objection, according to the article, that clear-cutting or other tree removal techniques and fragmentation of habitat from activities such as road building and construction of pipeline corridors create a threat to the survival and recovery of these species (i.e., jeopardy). It was stated that the CBD has a track record of litigation in such matters.

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