The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in conjunction with the Michigan and Wisconsin natural resources departments, will take questions about the Lake States Forest Bat Habitat Conservation Plan at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 31. The phone conference is for anyone interested in the integration of forest practices with conservation measures to support bat populations.
Forest bat populations are rapidly declining, and one or more species may soon be reclassified as endangered. If reclassified, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides the opportunity to develop a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). An HCP helps endangered species recover by setting out habitat conservation plans during land management activities.
In preparation, Minnesota and neighboring states are developing a forest bat HCP that aims to maintain bat habitat and allow important forest management activities to continue. Input from forest land owners, forest managers, conservation groups and other stakeholders is essential to developing an effective HCP.
An introductory video describing the HCP process and how to participate is available at https://youtu.be/46IAHTaqJQE. The DNR encourages participants to watch the video prior to the Oct. 31 question and answer session.
To access the session, in the ten minutes prior to the call start time, participants should dial 855-802-6790 toll-free and, at the prompt, enter the conference ID code 93441291.
Anyone requiring an accommodation to participate in the phone conference is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-259-5919 as early as possible.
More information is available at mndnr.gov/bathcp.