The Hardwood Federation is reporting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) today announced a final rule to reclassify the northern long-eared bat (NLEB) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The agency concluded that the species, currently listed as threatened, now meets the definition of endangered under the act due to the range-wide impacts of white-nose syndrome.
Their assessment found that white-nose syndrome has spread to nearly 80 percent of the species’ range and almost all of the U.S. range since the bat was listed as threatened in 2015. The agency takes pains to note that it will take steps to mitigate adverse economic impacts, acknowledging their “strong foundation … for working with stakeholders to conserve listed bats while allowing economic activities within the range to continue to occur.”
The Hardwood Federation will reach out to the USFWS for further information and track the implementation process.
The final rule to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered will appear in the November 30, 2022 issue of the Federal Register and become effective on January 30, 2023.
The USFWS will host an information session for interested parties on December 2, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, 10:00 a.m. Central Time. The session will include an overview of the final rule, a description of the tools being developed to assist project managers, and a Q&A session.
Source: Hardwood Federation