Northern Long-eared Bat
Section 7 Consultation
This website provides information and a process to help federal agencies fulfill their section 7 responsibilities for projects within the range of the northern long-eared.
Section 7 Responsibilities
under the 4(d) Rule
Federal actions that cause incidental take that is not prohibited under the 4(d) rule may still affect individual northern long-eared bats. Under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, a federal agency must consult with the Service if their action may affect a listed species, which includes effects to individuals. This requirement does not change when a 4(d) rule is implemented. However, for the northern long-eared bat 4(d) rule, the Service has provided a framework to streamline section 7 consultations when federal actions may affect the northern long-eared bat but not cause prohibited take.
Streamline Section 7 Process
Federal agencies may fulfill their project-specific section 7 responsibilities by using the Service’s framework. The framework relies on the finding of a programmatic biological opinion that the Service prepared for the northern long-eared bat 4(d) rule.
The framework requires the federal agency to notify the Service 30 days before starting an action that may affect the northern long-eared bat. The notification would include a determination that the action would not cause prohibited incidental take. Service concurrence is not required, but the Service may advise the agency whether additional information indicates that project-level consultation is required. If the Service does not respond within 30 days, the action agency may consider its section 7 responsibilities fulfilled with respect to the northern long-eared bat. The framework also includes several voluntary conservation measures that the Service recommends agencies incorporate into projects when possible.
Use of the framework is optional, an agency may choose to follow standard section 7 procedures.
If prohibited take may occur, standard section 7 procedures apply and the framework cannot be used.
Framework to Streamline Section 7 Consultation
Key to 4(d) Rule
for Federal Agencies
A key to the northern long-eared bat 4(d) rule for federal agencies is available. The key provides a stepwise process to determine when it is appropriate to use the framework to streamline consultation and when it is not. If an action may cause prohibited take of northern long-eared bats, a separate section 7 consultation may be necessary. In that case, contact the local Ecological Services field office for additional consultation.
Key to the Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule for Federal Actions
Notifying the Service Under the Framework
Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule Streamlined Consultation Form
Federal agencies (or designated non-federal representatives) should use the Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule Streamlined Consultation form to notify the Service of their project and meet the requirements of the framework.
Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule Streamlined Consultation Form (Word document)
Information requested in the Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule Streamlined Consultation Form serves to
(1) notify the field office that an action agency will use the streamlined framework;
(2) describe the project with sufficient detail to support the required determination; and
(3) enable the USFWS to track effects and determine if reinitiation of consultation for the 4(d) rule is required. This form requests the minimum amount of information required for the Service to be able to track this information.
Providing information in the Streamlined Consultation Form does not address section 7(a)(2) compliance for any other listed species.
Agencies and designated non-federal representatives should fill out the form completely or cut and paste the items from the form into their own letters/forms. The forms (or agency letters) should be submitted to the local field office.
Known Hibernacula and Maternity Roost Locations
This is the first version of the form, and we anticipate updating the form in the future to improve it. If you have comments that will improve the form or the streamlined process, please send them to Phil Delphey for consideration.
No Effect Determinations
If an agency determines that a proposed action will have no effect, the Service does not have to be notified and the form does not have to be used.
Standard Informal Consultation Process
If an agency chooses to follow the standard informal consultation process, the form is not necessary. Go here for Section 7 Consultation step-by-step instructions.
Other Section 7 Consultation Documents and Information
Northern Long-eared Bat Biological Opinions - final Biological Opinions for federal actions that may affect northern long-eared bats
Indiana Bat and Northern Long-eared Bat - Section 7 Consultation with Federal Highway Administration and Federal Railroad Administration
Section 7 Technical Assistance Website - explains section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and provides step-by-step instructions for the consultation process.
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