On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it is listing the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species with an interim 4(d) rule under the Endangered Species Act. The interim 4(d) rule provides maximum benefit to the species while also providing reasonable limits to regulations.
The interim 4(d) rule allows certain activities that are considered a conservation benefit to northern long-eared bats as long as these activities:
•Occur more than 0.25 miles from a known, northern long-eared bat occupied hibernacula.
•Avoid cutting or destroying known, northern long-eared bat occupied maternity roost trees during the pup-rearing season (June 1-July 31).
•Avoid clearcuts within 0.25 miles of known, northern long-eared bat occupied maternity roost trees during the pup-rearing season (June 1-July 31).
These conservation measures are designed to protect bats when they are most vulnerable, including when they occupy hibernacula and during the two-month pup-rearing season from June through July. The greatest potential restrictions would be during these months, with reduced restrictions at all other times.
Activities that are allowed when the above listed measures are followed include:
•Maintenance and expansion of existing rights-of-way and transmission corridors.
•Minimal tree removal projects.
•Removal of hazardous trees for protection of life and property.
•Removal of northern long-eared bats from human structures.
MITA will continue to work with MDNR and MDOT to ensure the construction industry is keep abreast to any changes to specifications and impacts to your operations.