Feds study bat protection but loggers disagree

Capital News Service
LANSING— A fight over logging restrictions is delaying federal protection of the northern long-eared bat, a Great Lakes species already decimated in the American Northeast. A decision on whether to list the bat as endangered or threatened has been pushed back to April. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has federal jurisdiction over protected species, is using the extra time to respond to the unexpected controversy, said Mollie Matteson, a senior scientist and a bat disease specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. Endangered means a species is at high risk of extinction in the wild, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Under federal law, a threatened species “is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”

Forest industry officials worry a federal listing will hinder logging.