Pennsylvania Field Office News
Agency and industry to develop bat conservation plan at North Allegheny wind facility in Pennsylvania
Public input invited as conservation planning gets underway
Duke Energy Renewables will prepare a habitat conservation plan at its North Allegheny 35-turbine wind facility in Blair and Cambria counties for the long-term conservation of the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), which may be added to the endangered species list. As Duke begins this process, the Service seeks public input from November 18 to December 18, 2014, on issues to consider in developing and evaluating the plan.
Federal Register notice
Tune in to online information webcasts on the northern long-eared bat
Northern long-eared bat
August 14, 2014: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold three public information webcasts August 19-21 to provide information and answer questions about our proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Webcasts will be Tuesday, August 19, at 1 p.m. Eastern; Wednesday, August 20, at 4 p.m. Eastern; and Thursday, August 21, at 7 p.m. Eastern. People can join the 1-hour information sessions by calling a toll-free number and joining a web conference to view a presentation and participate in a facilitated question-and-answer session.
More on the northern long-eared bat
Pennsylvania's Indiana Bat Conservation Fund protects important habitat
Healthy Indiana bats
Credit: Ann Froschauer/USFWS
June 4, 2014: Since 2012, 1,325 acres of Indiana bat habitat have been conserved using funds from the Indiana Bat Conservation Fund (IBCF). Through the fund, Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) has purchased 113 acres of swarming habitat in Fayette County in October 2012 using $127,000 from IBCF, and 1,212 acres of swarming and foraging habitat in Blair County in June 2013 using $2,308,000 from IBCF. In August 2014, PGC plans to acquire an additional 642 acres in Blair County with about $1,149,839 from the IBCF, bringing total conserved lands to 1,967 acres.
The IBCF was established to fund the conservation and recovery of the endangered bat, while minimizing the direct, indirect, and cumulative adverse effects that can occur as a result of development and other activities. In most cases, contributions to the IBCF will be from project proponents and permit applicants as compensation for activities that may adversely affect Indiana bats or their habitat. These funds are used solely for real property acquisition and permanent Indiana bat habitat protection, although these lands are available for compatible public recreational use, such as hiking, hunting, bird watching. Additionally, other entities that want to further the conservation and recovery of the Indiana bat may donate funds to the IBCF for the purpose of permanently protecting Indiana bat habitat.
The IBCF is administered by the PGC, who, in partnership with the Service, purchase or acquire real property interests to be retained and managed in perpetuity for the benefit of the Indiana bat consistent with the purposes of the Endangered Species Act.