The species that will be addressed by this Biological Evaluation are listed in Table 3 (animals) and Table 4 (plants and lichens). These tables list all Federally Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and Regional Forester Sensitive Species for the Ottawa National Forest. Threatened, Endangered, and Proposed species are designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Forest Service Eastern Region has identified which Threatened, Endangered, and Proposed Species occur on the Ottawa National Forest and are offered protection under the Endangered Species Act (USDA Forest Service, 2000a, 2000b).
Regional Forester Sensitive Species are designated by the Forest Service Eastern Region (Region 9). The Eastern Region of the Forest Service revised its Regional Forester's Sensitive Species List, signed 2/29/2000 (USDA Forest Service, 2000c, 2000d). When the List was updated prior to this signing, Forests were instructed to only analyze in project evaluations those species that are documented to occur within their respective Forest proclamation boundary. Subsequently, additional direction was given from OIG to also consider those species that are likely to occur, even if not currently documented to occur. Taxa are determined “likely to occur” on the Ottawa if their range includes the Ottawa, their preferred habitat is present, and occurrences are known in the general vicinity of the Forest. In the table below, these species are denoted as RFSS-L, while species that are documented and included on the 2/2/9/00 List are denoted RFSS. Further, since new habitat and distribution information is frequently received, changes to the List are inevitable. Formal updates occur periodically. In the interim, we designate those taxa that we are proposing for evaluation during the next update as pRFSS. These are typically species that were considered likely to occur, for which we now have occurrences, and therefore need to evaluate (via the designated risk evaluation form) whether Sensitive Species status is appropriate. All of these species, regardless of current status, are evaluated in the biological evaluation for each project.
Information on potential habitat being documented in the project area is based on field surveys, forest stand data, and forest ecological classification system data. Information on species documented in the project area is based on
on field surveys, Ottawa National Forest records (as of March 2002), and available records from Michigan Natural Features Inventory (as of April 2002). Vascular plant surveys were conducted during the 1998, 1999, and 2001 field seasons. Winter tracking surveys were conducted during nine field visits between 1/01/01 and 3/15/01. Goshawk, red-shouldered hawk, and Connecticut warbler surveys are scheduled for the spring of 2002.
Table 3. Federally listed and Regional Forester sensitive animals considered (28 species total). FE = federally endangered, FT = federally threatened, E = state endangered, T = state threatened, SC = Special Concern, RFSS = Regional Forester Sensitive Species for the Ottawa NF, pRFSS = Planning to complete a risk evaluation for this species on the Ottawa National Forest, RFSS-L = Likely to be present.
Table 4. Regional forester sensitive plants and lichens considered (59 species total). E = Endangered, T = Threatened, SC = Special Concern, RFSS = Regional Forester Sensitive Species for the Ottawa NF, pRFSS = species proposed for listing as RFSS, RFSS-L = Regional Forester Sensitive Species for some other National Forest in Region 9, but considered likely to occur on the Ottawa NF. There are no federally threatened, endangered, or proposed plants or lichens known or suspected to occur on the Ottawa NF.