USFWS Finally Gets Something Right, Relaxes Northern Bat Rule

This is so unusual, it’s big news. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), an organization known for its thuggish behavior, finally got something right. It was just yesterday we were commenting on the need for Williams to begin clearing trees for the Constitution Pipeline in New York State because the Northern long-eared bat, a “threatened” species, roosts in trees in upstate NY between April and October and tree cleaning needs to be done in the months of November to March (see Williams Plans to Start Clearing Trees for Constitution Next Week). Yesterday the USFWS issued their long-awaited “final conservation rule” for the Northern long-eared bat. Environmental radicals were hoping the USFWS would bump the bat from the lower “threatened” designation to the higher “endangered” designation. That didn’t happen. Not only did they not upgrade the designation, the USFWS also loosened the rules so that the oil and gas industry (and others) clearing trees for drill pads and pipelines can legally kill a bat or two as they do so. No longer if you find a single bat does it put that area off-limits. The USFWS recognizes, officially, that the biggest threat to the bat is a spreading fungal disease, and that killing a single bat here or there is not going to affect the population of this species…

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