Date: June 4, 2020
Contact: Georgia Parham, Georgia_Parham@fws.gov, 812-334-4261 x 203
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Conservation Plan for Hog Creek Wind Project in Hardin County, Ohio
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment (EA) and habitat conservation plan (HCP) for the Hog Creek Wind Project in Hardin County, Ohio. The draft HCP accompanies an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit application by Hog Creek Wind Project LLC for limited, unintentional take of the endangered Indiana bat and threatened northern long-eared bat as a result of normal operation of the company’s wind energy facility.
The HCP outlines measures the company would take for long-term conservation of both bat species if the permit were approved. These measures include changes to wind turbine operation to reduce risk of collisions with bats and efforts to permanently protect habitat needed by bats for breeding, pup rearing and hibernation.
“Under the ESA, it is illegal to kill, harm or harass federally endangered or threatened species – even unintentionally – without a permit,” said Lori Nordstrom, assistant regional director for the Service’s Great Lakes Region. “As required by the ESA, the Hog Creek Wind Project HCP includes measures the facility would carry out to avoid, minimize and mitigate incidental take of the two bat species. Some of those measures include modifying operation of the turbines at night during spring and fall migration seasons and protecting existing bat habitat.”
Habitat conservation plans are agreements between the Service and a landowner, private company or non-federal agency allowing them to undertake otherwise lawful activities on their property that may result in the incidental take of a federally endangered or threatened species.
If approved, the Hog Creek Wind Project HCP would address incidental take that results from operating the company’s 30 wind turbines in Hardin County for 30 years. The permit would authorize incidental take of up to 97 Indiana bats and up to 30 northern long-eared bats over the life of the permit.
Draft documents may be reviewed at www.regulations.gov under docket number FWS-R3-ES-2020- 0046. Public comments regarding the Hog Creek Wind Project draft HCP and EA can be submitted by the following methods:
- Online: Submit comments at regulations.gov under docket number FWS-R3-ES-2020-0046.
- By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2020-0046; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: JAO/lN; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.
Please specify whether your comment addresses the draft HCP, EA or any combination of these or other supporting documents. The public comment period will be open for 30 days through July 6, 2020.
For more information about incidental take and habitat conservation plans, please visit the Service’s Great Lakes Region endangered species website.