Proposed Incidental Take Permit Regarding Forestry Management and Operations on Forest, Park, and Game Lands (PA)

Case Details

The Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and PA Game Commission proposes to develop a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat on approximately 3.9 million acres of State lands. The undertakings that warrant this plan consist of individual projects associated with forestry management (regeneration, intermediate/improvement, and salvage cuts) forestry operations (fencing and firewood collection), roads and trails (road and trail construction, maintenance, and use) and prescribed fire (fire breaks and burning). These individual undertakings are proposed to be permitted for 30 years. Forest management strategies and uses for these lands, including the removal of timber and prescribed burns, have the potential to impact the foraging, roosting, maternity colony, spring staging, fall swarming and migratory habitat for bat species that occur in Pennsylvania including the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and federally threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). However, forest management (which includes timber removal) and prescribed burns also help to create foraging habitat which is beneficial to bats. The Service is involved due to the state agencies covered activities listed above, which could result in incidental take of endangered species, specifically, the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat. Authorization and issuance of an incidental take permit is a federal action which triggers the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Agency Involved:
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Federal Point of Contact:
Pamela Shellenberger
Endangered Species Biologist