Bats seem to be an appropriate post-Halloween topic.
I am cross posting this from Ron Roizen’s blog, “Not Without a Fight.”
Here’s a link to Senator John Thune’s piece in the Black Hills Pioneer on the bat.. it turns out that this is the same bat that is also having problems in the East (on private land). The issue seems to be that if something is problematic for a species (say a disease, in this case, but it could be climate change), then everything else that could affect the species needs to be tightened up or stopped. Which may not save the species anyway, because the issue for the species is something quite different than the targeted management. This does not seem very logical to me, so maybe someone can help enlighten me.
Here’s a quote:
In 2011, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reached a secret sue-and-settle agreement with two radical environmental groups to require listing determinations on more than 250 species across the United States, including the northern long-eared bat. Northern long-eared bats are dying at alarming rates in parts of the country due to the spread of white-nose syndrome. Of the 39 states considered prime northern long-eared bat habitat, white-nose syndrome has only been found in 22 states, and has not been found in South Dakota.
Despite the lack of evidence suggesting white nose syndrome is a problem in our state, the FWS has proposed limiting forest management in the Black Hills to preserve the bats habitat. Unfortunately, these proposed regulations don’t address the real problem—eradicating white nose syndrome. Instead of dealing with the problem at hand, the FWS’s proposal will increase the potential for large scale wildfires, risk spreading the pine beetle epidemic, and will severely impact the Black Hills timber industry.
On October 14th, I sent a letter to the FWS with Representative Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota) encouraging the agency to withdraw its proposed listing of the northern long-eared bat as endangered and to refocus its attention on combating white-nose syndrome.