• LaBella Associates

New Bat Regulations Impact Project Planning

If you're planning a project that requires tree removal, new regulations for the protection of the Northern Long-Eared Bat could impact construction schedules. Our planning division has kept LaBella's project managers up to speed on the newest regulations, which we've outlined below.

The Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) was officially listed as a “Threatened Species” under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in May 2015 and is also listed by New York State as a Threatened Species. The bat is found in much of the north-eastern and north-central United States and roosts beneath tree bark or within crevices in the bark. In the colder weather months, the Northern Long-Eared Bat hibernates in caves and abandoned mines.

Because of the steep decline in the bat population and its official listing as a threatened species, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has released new regulations regarding protection. Of primary interest are the restrictions regarding cutting or removal of trees. Specifically, the regulations prohibit removal of trees between April 1 and November 1. In certain specific cases, tree removal can begin October 1.

Due to the broad brush of these regulations, the easiest way to avoid project delays or modifications is advanced planning of tree removal or avoiding tree removal altogether. Note that even with advanced planning of tree removal, consultation with Federal and/or State endangered species agencies is necessary. LaBella’s Planning Division is up to speed on the new requirements and will be happy to discuss your project’s needs further.

More information regarding the bat and the implications of its listing as a threatened species can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nleb/

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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