2023 Regulatory Alert!
Do you have a project within the range of the northern long-eared bat with construction scheduled for 2023 and beyond? If so, take note! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined that the up listing of the species was warranted—from threatened to endangered. The status change will go into effect 30 days after the release of the final determination (anticipated for November 2022). If the service proceeds with the endangered listing, it will render all previous determinations of take invalid and require projects to restart the consultation process. This could mean “shovels down” for your projects, even if permits are already in place.
What projects may be impacted?
- Projects requiring tree removal
- Alteration of large, forested areas
- Bridge repair or replacement
- Building demolition
- Projects that require blasting
- Wind energy facilities
What is likely to happen?
- A new Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) determination key will be developed
- Tree-cutting season restriction likely to be extended
- Projects removing large, forested areas may require mitigation
What should you do?
- Begin (re)consultation early
- Determine presence/probable absence of the species (Season May 15 – August 15)
- Acoustic or mist-net surveys
- Anticipate surveyors will book quickly due to limited capacity and increased demand
- Schedule projects to avoid take when possible (e.g., winter tree clearing)
- Prepare for potential mitigation
- Mitigation banks
- In-lieu fees
If you’re looking for consultation or re-consultation on a project that may be affected by this regulation change, we can help! Normandeau experts routinely conduct assessments in accordance with the range-wide Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat survey guidelines from USFWS. Visit our Contact Us page to send us a message about how we can be of service.Map courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services: https://www.fws.gov/species/northern-long-eared-bat-myotis-septentrionalis