2016 Northern Long-Eared Bat Update
The final 4(d) Rule of the Endangered Species Act for the federally threatened northern long-eared bat went into effect on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. In support of the effective date, Trevor Clark (410-573-4527) of the U.S. FWS, Chesapeake Bay Field Office sent out a clarification e-mail dated Sunday, February 14, 2016 with the following web-link: http://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/EndSppWeb/ProjectReview/Step1.html.
Per the U.S. FWS Annapolis Field Office, the only known hibernacula occur in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties. Thus, if your project occurs outside of these counties, you can continue to clear trees as you normally would. For projects in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties, coordination with the FWS to determine restrictions or need for survey is required. For all other new Maryland land development forest clearing projects in other than the western panhandle counties, no coordination is necessary, as no other roost sites are known/confirmed.
The following map shows the three Maryland counties, Garrett, Allegany and Washington in a red color, having confirmed white-nose syndrome infected hibernacula (winter hibernation roost sites such as caves).
Please note that the white-nose syndrome infected hibernacula zones or roost sites are subject to change as new data is collected.
Attached as a PDF file is a sample FWS environmental review (IPaC) response from Trevor Clark, regarding a recent Environmental Systems Analysis project, where the northern long-eared bat was determined to not be an issue for a client that intends to clear forest for a sanitary sewer trunk line to service a proposed residential subdivision.
Mark Burchick, Environmental Systems Analysis, Inc., 2141 Priest Bridge Drive, Suite 1, Crofton, MD 21114, 410-267-0495, ext. 203.