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DNR, Timber Industry React Against Bat Protections

Steven Thomas
US Fish and Wildlife Service

Forest products industry leaders are voicing concern about a federal plan that could designate a bat species as endangered.  The listing could restrict summer logging. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering an endangered species listing for the northern long-eared bat, due to dramatic population declines and the spread of a deadly disease called white nose syndrome.  But protecting the species could cost the forest products industry.  

Federal guidelines to protect the bat discourage some types of summer logging. 

Henry Schienebeck of Great Lakes Timber Professionals says the rules would present challenges.        

“Because the bats are known to roost in snag trees, they’re known to roost in trees with dense bark on em…if they’re listed once, basically it’s illegal to take one, in other words to have one accidentally killed when you’re taking a tree.”

The guidelines are voluntary while the species listing is under consideration, but could influence permanent restrictions.

Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Indiana have asked for more time to give input on the plan.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service are scheduled to make a decision by October 2nd.

The fungal disease white nose syndrome has killed millions of bats in the U.S., and was found in Wisconsin and Michigan for the first time this year. 

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