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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District have finalized their new Florida Bonneted Bat Consultation Guidelines and Florida Bonneted Bat Consultation Key. The Guidelines provide guidance on the types of habitats, size of projects and types of surveys that are analyzed in the consultation. The Key provides a question and answer-type format to reach an effect determination for a specific project. The new Key includes the 2019 Florida bonneted bat consultation area, which includes areas of Polk, Osceola, Okeechobee, Hardee, Highlands, Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Glades, Lee, Hendry, Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties. The Key also identifies a South Florida Urban Bat Area that is excluded from the Key. Best Management Practices are identified for development projects and land management projects.

The Service and the Corps will apply the new Guidelines and Key to pending permit applications with proposed actions that are consistent with the Key, but the new Key is not mandatory for permit applicants. The Key’s intent is to provide appropriate and consistent effect determinations for the Florida bonneted bat under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The Service and Corps anticipate the Key will streamline informal consultation with the Service for the Florida bonneted bat when the proposed action is consistent with the Key. These Guidelines and Key replace the 2013 draft Florida Bonneted Bat Key. If you have any questions on the new Guidelines and Key or would like a copy, please contact Debbie Madden or Luna Philips.

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

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Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 12 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With nearly 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.


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