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Woodland Owner Webinar: Forestry for Bats

May 19 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Bats play a vital role in the health of our watershed. They pollinate plants and eat insects that could harm crops or humans, including the pesky mosquito. They even help reduce the use of pesticides on crops. But bat populations are seeing a rapid decline due to habitat loss and white-nose syndrome. Woodland owners in Minnesota and Wisconsin can play a vital role in conserving bat populations, working in partnership with state and local agencies. 

In our next Woodland Owner Webinar, Sarah Herrick (Conservation Biologist for the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation) will discuss bat-friendly silviculture practices and what the Wisconsin DNR is doing to help our bat populations. We’ll also hear from Rich P. Courtemanche (Land Commissioner at Aitkin County Land Department in Minnesota) about their Habitat Conservation Program for the Northern Long Eared Bat and the Little Brown Bat. 

When: Wednesday, May 19 from 1:30-2:30 PM

Please note that this event is free, but registration is required.

Register today to learn how you can help bats!

You will receive a confirmation email with a link to the webinar upon registration.

1 CFE credit is available for attending the live webinar.

This webinar will also be recorded for future viewing.

About the Presenters:

Beneficial Forest Management Practices for Wisconsin Bat Species by Sarah Herrick

Cave-hibernating bat populations in Wisconsin and across the United States are in precipitous decline due to the fungal disease white-nose syndrome. During the spring, summer, and fall, these species rely on forested habitat for roosting and foraging. Forests offer many essential resources to bats including diverse assemblages of insects as prey and trees for roosting and shelter. Because forests provide year-round habitat for many bat species their management is crucial for maintaining high-quality habitat and healthy bat populations. This talk will highlight some ways that sustainable forest management can benefit bat species and give an overview of the Lake States Forest Management Bat Habitat Conservation Plan.

Sarah Herrick is a Conservation Biologist and the Forestry Liaison for the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation. She facilitates communication between Forestry and NHC, assists Forestry staff and partners with rare species questions and NHC staff with forestry questions and provides information and training about Forestry-related endangered resources issues to a variety of audiences. She represents Wisconsin DNR on the Lake States Forest Management Bat HCP Steering Committee.  Prior to her current role, Sarah was a Forest Ecology Specialist for the WDNR Division of Forestry. 

Developing Best Management Practices for Forest Bats in Minnesota, a County Perspective (2013-present) by Rich P. Courtemanche

Aitkin County Land Department began studying forest bats in 2013, prior to the listing of bat species on the U. S. Threatened List or the devastation of population numbers due to white nosed syndrome (WNS) in Minnesota.  Early research showed the abundance and diversity of species including northern long eared and little brown bats in a variety of intensely managed forests.  With the arrival of WSN, bat numbers have declined 90%.  This presentation will document the ever developing story of how Aitkin County’s Land Department has responded in its efforts to protect forest bats and the development of forestry best management practices.

Rich P. Courtemanche has been with the Aitkin County Land Department since 2011 and the Land Commissioner since 2018.  Aitkin County manages over 220,000 acres of tax-forfeited lands for a full range of public benefits including forestry, recreation, wildlife and a range of ecosystem services.   In 1997, Aitkin County was one of the first county-managed forest lands in the United States to become third-party certificated ensuring that its management meets the highest ecological and social standards.  Aitkin County’s management includes a commitment to the state’s wildlife action plans and addressing conservation needs of species such as forest bats. 


(Photo: Aitkin County Land Department)


May 19
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


St. Croix River Association