B_Eco updates EUM -3

Ecological Updates
Mussel Survey Protocol Update
 An updated Appendix A list has been released by
 Reconnaissance Survey will be included in the March
2014 update.
 Surveyors must meet ODOT’s aquatic ecology
prequal, or have a state or federal collection
permit for mussels.
 Non-state or federal permitted surveyors must
have state collectors permit for invertebrates
 Survey work required on ALL streams over 10 mi2
 Projects impacting Group 1 and 3 streams only:
Project can be coordinated prior to survey work, as
long as ODOT commits to performing a
survey/relocation prior to construction.
 OES has a T and E task order that can be used for any
level of mussel survey.
Fat Mucket
Email questions to: [email protected]
Ecological Updates
Federal Species Update
 Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) has
been proposed as endangered by USFWS for all
counties in Ohio.
 Final Listing expected by October 2014.
 Similar habitat requirements for Indiana bat, but there
are differences.
 Northern Long-eared Bat Interim Conference and
Planning Guidance, January 6, 2014
 Describes Winter and Summer Habitat
 Winter Habitat (hibernacula) is underground caves
and cave like structures
 Summer Habitat- Suitable roost trees are trees
with DBH of 3 inches or greater that exhibit
features such as exfoliating bark, crevices,
cavities, or cracks
 May utilize artificial roosts (barns, sheds, bridges)
but not common and does not appear that
USFWS is trying to regulate these as of yet
Federal Species Updates
 This species needs to be included in all new ESRs (Federal Species table).
 Conferencing (informal or formal) for this species is required for the following:
 All new projects that “may affect” this species
 Projects that have already been coordinated with USFWS, and:
 The project “may affect” the northern long-ear
 CE is not complete and/or PCN is needed
 Project will not be constructed prior to October 2014
 USFWS “Blanket Concurrence” for projects that have already been
 Project was coordinated as a May Affect, Not Likely for Indiana bat, and
USFWS concurred with ODOT’s effect call
 ODOT has committed to or can commit to seasonal cutting (tree removal
only between October 1 and March 31).
 Northern Long-ear bat has not been captured at that site (if survey work
was done).
 This concurrence needs to be documented in the CE and seasonal cutting
needs to be included as an environmental commitment
 Does not apply to projects that were PC-3 for Indiana bat.
Ecological Updates
Indiana Bat Programmatic Biological Opinion/Agreement
 Currently operating under 2007 Programmatic Agreement, extended through
January 31, 2016.
 A federal mediator has been hired to help with the agreement. Kickoff meeting
 Ongoing negotiations with USFWS regarding impact analysis, determination of
effect(s), conservation measures
 Conservation measures (mitigation) has been especially challenging
 Complicated by the proposed listing of the northern long-eared bat.
 OES is to set up conservation areas in both the new Eastern and Western
Management Units.
 SCCC2 bat conservation area has been approved for use statewide. This will
continue until agreement is completed, and will be allowed for a few years after
the agreement is signed.
 Consultant conducted a search for mitigation in the Western MU, and OES is
reviewing the report to make a short list of options.
 The Research Bank (M6-a) is no longer a mitigation option in the west and
central management units.
 Mitigation ratios have not been set. A debit list for SCCC2 has been created.
Ecological Updates
Indiana Bat Survey Protocol
2014 Summer Survey Guidance has been released
Allows for both acoustic and/or mist net surveys
Can be used to do any survey work for projects
New protocol requires more sampling compared to the 2013 Guidance
Link posted on OES Eco website
Ecological Updates
Headwater Streams
 ERAC decision – Primary Headwater
designations are not in rule and cannot be
used by Ohio EPA.
 Decision left applicants without a good
way to assess streams smaller than one
square mile.
 EPA Guidance (not final) – EPA will accept
HHEI data for streams, but the applicant
must also provide the following:
 HMFEI and/or
 VES (Visual Encounter Survey for
 Data will be used to assign ALU – HMFEI
score will be used to decide if stream is
Cold Water Habitat or not.
 Existing Use Guidance for headwater
streams to be provided by OEPA – due
week of 3/7
Ecological Updates
Miscellaneous Eco Update Information
 Updates to the Ecological Manual and Ecological Survey Forms to be completed by
the end of March 2014
 Ecological website revision is complete and the site is up and running!
 New simplified format. Much easier to find information.
 Mussel surveys and RBC surveys:
 OES has developed spread-sheets to track workload for these surveys.
 We will be asking districts to add projects that will need any sort of mussel
survey or RBC surveys to the appropriate spread sheet.
 Survey work may be split between OES biologists and Task Order consultants
 ODNR Scenic River and Coastal MOA/MOUs currently being revised

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