In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the proposed issuance of Endangered Species Act (ESA) Incidental Take Permits (ITP) and approval of the Lake States Forest Management Bat Habitat Conservation Plan (Lake States HCP). The Lake States HCP was prepared by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota DNR, and Wisconsin DNR.
Forest management practices can sustain and improve bat habitat, but also have the potential to impact bat species. Some of the species potentially affected by these practices are federally listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA and require an ITP from the Service before conducting activities that could harm or kill those species. To obtain an ITP, applicants must prepare an HCP, which specifically identifies how incidental take will be avoided, minimized, and mitigated. The Lake States HCP describes the conservation measures to support ITPs for ongoing forestry practices in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Issuance of an ITP by the Service is a federal action subject to review under NEPA. The EA analyzed the potential environmental effects of issuing an ITP and implementing the Lake States HCP.
This website is intended to provide information on the NEPA compliance process.