National forest plans aid in removing bat from ESA list

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove the federally “endangered” status from the lesser long-nosed bat found in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.  Public lands play an important role in providing habitat, and federal land managers were among the “conservation partners anticipating that their 30-year recovery efforts have paid off.”

In the United States, most lesser long-nosed bat roosts and forage areas are managed by federal agencies (U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the Army’s Fort Huachuca), which have integrated the management of lesser long-nosed bat forage plants – agaves, and saguaro and organ pipe cacti – into their land use and resource management plans.

The potential for this kind of success story is why the new requirement for forest plans to “contribute to the recovery” of listed species needs to be taken seriously by forest planners.

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