Chesapeake Bay Field Office
Northeast Region

Step 1 - Project Review

Northern Long-eared Bats and Your Project: The final 4(d) rule for the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septrionalis) became effective on February 16, 2016.

Under the final 4(d) rule, incidental take is prohibited if it occurs from tree removal activities occurring within a quarter-mile of a hibernaculum or from activities that cut down or destroy any trees within 150 feet of a known maternity roost tree, during the pup-rearing season (June 1 through July 31).  Occupied roost trees may be removed when necessary to address a direct threat to human life and property. In other cases, a permit for incidental take may be needed.

As is the case for all endangered and threatened species,  intentionally harming, harassing, or killing the northern long-eared bat is prohibited throughout the species' range, except for removal from human structures, and when necessary to protect human health and safety.

Note: the only counties with documented hibernacula are Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties in Maryland and New Castle County in Delaware.  The only areas with documented maternity roosts are in Garrett and Allegany Counties in Maryland, District of Columbia, and New Castle County in Delaware. 

NORTHERN LONG-EARED BAT SURVEYS:  Is there more site specific information about northern long-eared bat presence in your project area? If surveys are conducted to determine the presence or absence of this species in the specific woodlands of the project area, that information can be helpful in assessing the impacts of the project to this species. Go here for summer survey guidance:  https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/inba/inbasummersurveyguidance.htmlAlthough the aforementioned guidance was developed for the Indiana bat, it can be used for the northern long-eared bat also.

PROJECT SPECIFIC NORTHERN LONG-EARED BAT COMMENTS: If the northern long eared bat has been identified on the IPAC species list, this indicates that the project area is within 150 feet of a known maternity roost tree and/or within .25 miles of a known hibernaculum and further coordination with this office is requested to determine if the project could result in prohibited take of northern long-eared bats.

If northern long eared bat is identified on the IPAC species list with the following language, "Incidental take of the northern long eared bat is not prohibited at this location.  Federal action agencies may conclude consultation by using the Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule Streamlined Consultation Form at  https://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/pdf/StreamlinedConsultationForm29Feb2016.pdf for projects that have forest clearing equal to or greater than 15 acres" - a streamlined consultation form should be filled out and sent to Trevor Clark at Trevor_Clark@fws.gov.

For more information on the final 4(d) rule for the northern long-eared bat, go to http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nleb/index.html. Below you can also click on our Frequently Asked Questions Document and our key for federal actions and non-federal activities for more information.

Northern Long-Eared Bat - Final 4(d) Rule Questions and Answers (PDF)
Key to the Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule for Federal Actions that May Affect Northern Long-Eared Bats (PDF)
Key to the Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule for Non-Federal Activities (PDF)

Note: With new information, criteria on which projects will be reviewed may change. Any updates will be posted to this page.

The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee​: The rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) was listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, on March 21, 2017. There are no extant occurrences (2007-2016) of the rusty patched bumble bee in Delaware, Maryland or Washington, DC. As a result, the Chesapeake Bay Field Office​ (CBFO)​ will not be conducting Section 7 consultations for the rusty patched bumble bee. In addition, individuals conducting surveys for bees in these states do not need a research permit to conduct surveys. The CBFO will update our website if new occurrences are discovered in the future.

Telecommunications Towers: Project review for certain types of maintenance or co-location on existing communication towers is not required. Please print the Online Certification Letter for Telecommunication Tower Projects as documentation of "no effect" for a project meeting the following criteria:

  • re-licensing of existing telecommunication facilities;
  • audits of existing facilities associated with acquisition;
  • routine maintenance of existing tower sites
  • co-location of new antenna facilities on/in existing structures;
  • repair or replacement of existing towers and/or equipment, provided such activities do not increase the existing tower mass and height, or require the additional of guy wires

Routine Highway Maintenance Projects: Project review for certain types of activities associated with routine highway maintenance and upgrade activities is not required. Please print the Online Certification Letter for Routine Highway Maintenance Projects as documentation of "no effect" for a project meeting the following criteria:

  • resurfacing /repainting
  • intersection improvements
  • traffic signal construction
  • guard rail maintenance and installation
  • bridge remedial (excluding new construction, bridge widening and extension)
  • lighting improvement


Decision tree for project review process Is your project an exilsting telecommunication tower? Yes,Link to Telecommunication tower certification letter. Is your project an existing telecommunication tower? Yes= Link to ONline Tower Certification letter Is your project routine highway maintenance? Yes, link to highway maintenance certification letter. Is your project routine highway maintenance? Yes, link to highway maintenance certification letter. Proceed to step two. Link to Step 2 of the project review process link to the telecommunication letter. Print it outLink to the online Telecommunication letter.

For all other types of projects, continue to Step 2.

Image map of Project review steps Link to the beginning of the Online Project review process Link to step 1 of the project review process Link to Step 2 of the project review process link to step 3 of the project review process link to step4a link to step 4b Link to step 4c
Last updated: June 12, 2018