Bat-Friendly Forestry



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2017 Milestones


In July 2017, the Minnesota DNR issued an invitation to the public to participate in bat habitat conservation efforts and released a 24-minute introductory video for the Lake States Forest Management Bat Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).  The video provides information about the development of a forest bat HCP for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The video covers what forest land owners and others need to know and how to provide input to the state DNRs on the HCP. You can view it on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) YouTube site at  A link to it has also been added to the Minnesota DNR’s HCP webpage.


On April 1, 2017,  in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Minnesota DNR published a Township List and Map. It is designed to assist in complying with the special federal regulation in conducting your activities in Minnesota. Please review this document and distribute it to others within your community as appropriate.


Summary of 2016 Northern Long-eared Bat Research in Minnesota, a report on the results of research being conducted jointly by the Minnesota DNR, University of Minnesota, and USDA Forest Service.



2016 Milestones


USFWS 7-Year Work Plan Released
On September 1st, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a National Listing Workplan that identifies Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions to be made over the next seven years. The workplan is part of ongoing efforts to improve the effectiveness of implementation of the ESA.  The workplan identifies the Service’s schedule for addressing the 30 species currently on the ESA Candidate List and conducting 320 status reviews (also referred to as 12-month findings) for species that outside parties have petitioned for ESA protection and 10 discretionary reviews.  Note: The little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) is included on the workplan, with a range that includes Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

More information:
Direct Link to download workplan:  


U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station General Technical Report Addresses Forest Management for Bat Populations
A recent general technical report published by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station(SRS), SRS wildlife biologist Roger Perry and researchers at Virginia Tech and the U.S. Geological Survey compiled a literature review on the effects of common forest management techniques such as prescribed burning, timber harvest, and tree thinning, on three of the bat species in the eastern U.S. that have been highly impacted by white-nose syndrome.  Read more here.  Download the full report here.


On April 25th, 2016 the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service published a news release announcing that dedicating critical habitat for the Northern Long-eared Bat is not prudent. The USFWS also released a supplementary Question and Answer document.



On April 1st, 2016 the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a list and map of Townships in Minnesota that contain Northern Long-Eared Bat roost trees and/or hibernacula. (NOTE:  This is not the most up-to-date list and is listed here only for reference.)


In March 2016 Dovetail Partners and the Counties of Aitkin and Carlton in Minnesota released a Summary of Forest Dwelling Bat Field Surveys. During the summers of 2014 and 2015, field surveys were conducted in Aitkin County to gather information about forest-dwelling bats. Similar work was done in Carlton County in 2015. Both counties manage forest lands located in Northern Minnesota. The field data collection included acoustical surveys as well as mist-netting to sample bat species. The field survey work was done by WEST, Inc. This summary report provides information about the results and findings from the mist-netting survey work. This summary report does not provide details about the methodologies as that information is provided by WEST, Inc. directly to the land managers and is not reproduced here. 



On January 13th, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a news release announcing a final rule that uses flexibilities under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act to tailor protections to areas affected by white-nose syndrome during Northern Long-eared Bats' most sensitive life stages. The NLEB Final 4(d) Rule was released by the FWS on January 14th, 2016 along with additional 4(d) Rule documents. The NLEB Final 4(d) Rule goes into affect on February 16th, 2016.



Additional information regarding the Final 4(d) Rule can be found in the following documents:




2015 Milestones


On January 16th, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a proposed 4(d) rule under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect the Northern Long-eared Bat (NLEB).

On April 1st, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced it would list the Northern Long-eared Bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Concurrently, USFWS issued an interim 4(d) rule that exempts certain activities—including forest management practices—from prohibitions under the Act. There was a 90-day comment period on the interim 4(d) rule through July 1, 2015. After this final comment period, FWS took the remainder of the year to refine the interim rule.


On May 20th, 2015, the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station published a news release about positive progress towards treating White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). 



On June 6th, 2015, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a list and map of Townships in Minnesota that contain Northern Long-eared Bat roost trees and/or hibernacula.  



Additional information regarding the Interim 4(d) Rule can be found in the following documents:




In the News




Additional Resources







This work is supported by the Ecofootprint Grant Program funded by Enbridge, and additional support provided by UPM Blandin Paper Company and Sappi North America.







Bat-Friendly Forestry Workshop & Field Tour 

October 30th-31st, 2014 - Aitkin, MN


The Bat-Friendly Forestry Workshop, held October 30th, 2014 in Aitkin, MN, featured the results of 2014 summer bat survey work, including acoustical and mist net surveys done throughout northern Minnesota. Public and private sector researchers presented information about what was known about forest-dwelling bats in the state, current research needs, and the status of the listing process for the Northern Long-eared Bat. On October 31st, a field tour was held that included visiting forest management treatment sites to review “bat-friendly forestry” activities and discuss alternatives for protecting bat habitat needs.



Workshop Agenda, CFE Credits & Sponsors


Click here to download the Bat-Friendly Forestry Workshop & Field Tour agenda. 


The Wildlife Society approved the Bat-Friendly Forestry Workshop & Field Tour for continuing education and allowed a maximum of 9 hours towards Category I of TWS’ Certification Renewal/Professional Development Program.


Society of American Foresters (SAF) also approved the event for CFE credits and allowed a maximum of 8 hours towards Category 1-CF credit (Day 1 – 5.0 hrs., Day 2 – 3.0 hrs.).



Workshop Sponsors




Workshop Presentations & Reports


Overview of Forest-Dwelling Bats in Minnesota

Tim Sichmeller, Wildlife Biologist, West, Inc.


Discussion of "Bat-Friendly Forestry"

Mark Jacobs, Aitkin County Land Department


Research Findings and Plans for Future Research

Rich Baker, Minnesota Endangered Species Coordinator, MN DNR


Discussion of Findings From Forest Certification Review

John Owen and Kathryn Fernholz, Dovetail Partners, Inc.


Resulting Report



Discussion of Research Gaps, Needs, Etc.

Kim Chapman, Applied Ecological Services


Resulting Reports



Status of the Proposed Listing of Northern Long-Eared Bat

Lisa Mandell, Deputy Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services


You may also view videos of the workshop presentations in full on the Aitkin County Land Youtube Channel .