Fish and Wildlife Service, KDF sign agreement protecting Indiana bats on state forests

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Division of Forestry announce entering into an agreement to promote the survival, conservation, and recovery of the federally endangered Indiana bat on state forests within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The Conservation Memorandum of Agreement provides Kentucky and the Service with a streamlined and programmatic approach to evaluating potential impacts and conservation benefits to the Indiana bat that will result from specific forest management activities occurring on state forests.  It also will measure and track the benefits to Indiana bat recovery that are achieved through implementation of those activities.
Some of these recovery benefits include:
• Improving Indiana bat summer maternity habitat and fall swarming habitat;
• Focusing new state forest acquisitions in areas of known Indiana bat habitat, and
• Maintaining the condition of potential and occupied Indiana bat habitat on state forests so that the habitat can be utilized by the bats.
The agreement promotes forest habitat for the Indiana bat through timber stand improvement practices such as mid-story removal. This will not only improve foraging conditions for the bat, it will ensure that suitable roosting trees are left following forest management activities.
The Kentucky Division of Forestry manages 10 Kentucky State Forests containing more than 43,000 acres. Indiana bats are known to occur on at least five of these forests – Big Rivers, Green River, Kentenia, Kentucky Ridge, and Tygarts State Forests. These forests provide important habitat for the Indiana bat across the Commonwealth.
Copies of the agreement can be obtained from either agency. KDF’s main office is located at 627 Comanche Trail, Frankfort, KY 40601 and the state forest program coordinator can be reached at 502-564-4496, or at the Service’s web site at: www.fws.gov/frankfort or by contacting biologist Jennifer Garland at 502-695-0468 ext. 115, e-mail jennifer_garland@fws.gov, or mail her at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 330 W. Broadway, Room 265, Frankfort, KY 40601.