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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.
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 an updated list and map of Townships in Minnesota that contain Northern Long-Eared Bat roost trees and/or hibernacula.
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:
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
Research Spotlights 'Threatened' Bats (Pine Journal - August 29th, 2015)
Aitkin County's Bat Man (Tree Farm for Better Forests, July 2015)
Key to bats' health to be researched in Minnesota (MPR News - July 21st, 2015)
Bat study focuses on nesting trees in Northland as deadly disease spreads (Duluth News Tribune - July 19th, 2015)
Bat-Friendly Forestry Video (Dovetail Partners, Aitkin County Land Department)
Great Lakes Avian Radar Technical Report Huron and Oceana Counties, MI (U.S. Fish and Wildlfire Service - evaluates the 2011 fall migration of birds and bats along the Lake Michigan and Lake Huron shorelines)
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 Presentations & Reports
Tim Sichmeller, Wildlife Biologist, West, Inc.
Mark Jacobs, Aitkin County Land Department
Rich Baker, Minnesota Endangered Species Coordinator, MN DNR
John Owen and Kathryn Fernholz, Dovetail Partners, Inc.
Kim Chapman, Applied Ecological Services
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 .