Public Comment Period on Proposed Listing of Northern Long-Eared Bat Reopened
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has reopened the comment period on its October 2, 2013 proposed rule to list the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The original comment period, scheduled to end on December 2, 2013 was previously extended to January 2, 2014. The reopened comment period will begin on the publication in the Federal Register on November 18, 2014 and end on December 18, 2014.
The northern long-eared bat’s habitat is found from Maine to North Carolina on the east coast, and extends westward to eastern Oklahoma and north through the Dakotas, extending as far as eastern Montana and Wyoming. Like many species of bats, the northern long-eared bat’s population has declined rapidly due to white-nose syndrome, a disease that causes fungal growth around the muzzles and wings of hibernating bats.
The Service cites recently received information from state agencies within the range of the species as the reason for the additional comment period. The letters, one from the Midwest and Southeast Chapters of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and another from the Northeast Chapter of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, can be found here at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2011-0024.
Comments must be received by December 18, 2014. They can be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. The link to send a comment or submission may be found by entering Docket No. FWS-R5ES-2011-0024 in the search box and selecting the Proposed Rules link under the Document Type heading. Comments may also be sent by hard copy, either by U.S. mail or hand delivery. They should be addressed to:
Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R5-ES-2011-0024
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM
Arlington, VA 22203