June 30, 2015

Federal Wildlife Service Seeks Public Input on Habitat Plan

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Northern long-eared bat.

Pete Pattavina/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Northern long-eared bat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking the public’s suggestions for writing an  environmental impact statement for an eight-state Midwestern plan designed to help conserve the habitats of several species of animals, including three types of bats that are impacted by wind energy facilities.

The states are Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Northern long-eared bat.

Pete Pattavina/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Northern long-eared bat.

The environmental impact statement will assess the impact of giving various operations, such as wind energy facilities, “incidental take permits,” which would give them immunity from prosecution for any inadvertent or incidental bat deaths or injuries.

To learn more about the statement and the regional habitat conservation plan, called Midwest Wind Energy Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan, visit the federal eRulemaking portal at  http://www.regulations.gov/ and type or cut-and-paste Docket Number FWS-R3-ES-2015-0033 into the horizontal search box.

You can also find out which species listed as endangered at in the Midwest at www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered.

Public meetings are scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. local time as follows:

  • July 13 – Minneapolis, Minnesota. Elliot Recreation Center, 1000 E. 14th St. 55404
  • July 14 – Madison, Wisconsin. Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Drive, 53704
  • July 15 – Ames, Iowa.  Iowa State Memorial Union, Campanile Room, 2229 Lincoln Way, 50011
  • July 16 – Columbia, Missouri. Battle High School Commons, 7575 E. St. Charles Road, 65202
  • July 20 – Lansing, Michigan. Letts Community Center Gymnasium, 1220 W. Kalamazoo Street 48915
  • July 21 – Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Downtown High School Commons,364 South 4th Street 43215
  • July 22 – Indianapolis, Indiana. World Sports Park Ballroom, 1313 South Post Road, 46239
  • July 23 – Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois Wesleyan University, Memorial Center, Young Main Lounge, 104 E. University Avenue, 61701

The wildlife serve also conduct an online public meeting July 28, 2015, 1 p.m., Central Time. More details are at: http://www.midwestwindenergyhcpeis.org/

After the service releases a draft of the environmental impact statement in spring 2016, it will give the public another chance to comment.

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