Beware of the Bats

July 2015Articles In the Zone

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that it is protecting the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. (Click here for information from the Department of Environmental Protection, here for information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and here for information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). Yes, it is hard to believe, but now bats are endangered species. The same animals that our grandparents would chase with brooms out of their homes and barns now have to be protected when considering the development of land for businesses and new homes. This decision will surely add additional costs and delays to the already overburdened zoning and land use approval process, as this new regulation is just another layer of bureaucratic restrictions that will increase housing prices and send businesses out of the region to construct their real estate facilities. First, it was the bog turtle, then it was red-bellied turtle and now it is the long-eared bat. What’s next, the stink bug?