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Indiana Bat and Northern Long-eared Bat

Section 7 Consultation with Federal Highway Administration

 

Range-wide Consultation and Conservation Strategy with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act

The Service and Federal Highway Administration are working towards a standardized approach to assessing impacts to Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats from highway construction and expansion projects; then avoiding, minimizing and mitigating those impacts.

 

Indiana bats are found over most of the Eastern half of the United States. Section 7(a)(l) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires federal agencies to use their authorities to conserve listed species. Section 7(a)(2) of act requires federal agencies to consult on any action that may affect a listed species. Consultation and mitigation approaches for impacts to Indiana bats vary greatly across the 22 states that consult on Indiana bat, and those approaches have been rapidly changing in recent years. Consultation approaches are likely to continue to evolve independently in response to the spread of white-nose syndrome across the species’ range. These variations and changes have caused uncertainty, conflict, delays, and large workloads for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and state Departments of Transportation (DOTs).

 

FHWA has requested that this conservation and consultation strategy be expanded to include the northern long-eared bat, a species currently proposed for listing as endangered under the ESA.  Although a final decision on listing is still pending, because the northern long-eared bat’s range overlaps with the Indiana bat but is even more extensive (all or portions of 39 states), consultation issues similar to those experienced with the Indiana bat are expected.  Consultation approaches for both species are likely to evolve in response to the spread of white-nose syndrome across the species’ ranges.

 

This landscape-level conservation strategy being developed by the FHWA and USFWS will encompass the ranges of both bat species and will provide more transparency and predictability to FHWA and state DOTs through proactive planning. This effort will provide information to these agencies that will allow them to strategically avoid developing projects in high impact or high risk areas for the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat. For those projects that cannot avoid impacts, project proponents will be able to design projects to minimize impacts, thus avoiding the need to revise projects later in their development. For those large-scale projects or projects with greater impacts, priority conservation areas will be identified to offset and minimize the impacts of the take. This approach will result in an increase in the consistency of both project design and review, will reduce consultation process timeframes, reduce delays, and contribute meaningfully to the conservation of both species.

 

In sum, the FHWA and Regions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Service are collaborating on an effort to develop rangewide consultation and conservation strategies for Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats to help expedite the consultation process related to transportation projects. The strategy will include:

  • proactive conservation measures that are most suited and needed for the conservation of the species,
  • priority areas for mitigation measures,
  • standardized effects analyses with avoidance and minimization measures associated with project types,
  • an informal programmatic consultation covering all states; and
  • detailed framework for future programmatic formal consultations.

For more information about the USFWS Programmatic Agreement with FHWA for Indiana bat go to:

http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/inba/index.html or
http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/section7/s7process/s7guid_cons.html.

 

For more information about NLEB, go to:

http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nlba/index.html

 

For more information about the Endangered Species Act, and Section 7, go to:

http://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/index.html#consultations_policy.

 

Project Contacts:

Forest Clark, U.S. Fish and Service Forest_Clark@fws.gov or

Brian Yanchik, Federal Highway Adiminstration Brian.Yanchik@dot.gov.

 

Scope of Work

 

USFWS Field Office Contacts

 

Regional Representatives on the FHWA Indiana Bat Team

 

Forest Clark, FWS Project Lead

Bloomington, Indiana Field Office, 812-334-4261, forest_clark@fws.gov

 

Jessica Hogrefe, Region 3 Representative,

Region 3 Regional Office, Bloomington, MN 612-713-5346, jessica_hogrefe@fws.gov

 

Jerry Ziewitz , Region 4 Representative,

Region 4 ES Field Office, Tallahassee, FL 850-877-6513, jerry_ziewitz@fws.gov

 

Glenn Smith, Region 5 Representative,

Region 5 Regional Office, Hadley, MA, 413-253-8627, glenn_s_smith@fws.gov

 

Catherine Liller, Region 6 Representative,

Region 6 Regional Office, Lakewood, CO, 303-236-4318 catherine_liller@fws.gov

 

Information about Section 7 and the Consultation Process

 

Information about the Endangered Species Act

 

Information about Endangered Species Act policies

 


Indiana Bat Home

Northern Long-eared Bat Home

Midwest Endangered Species Home

 

 

Last updated: May 29, 2014