AGA Joins Comments May 23 on Northern Long-Eared Bat Proposal

AGA Joins Comments May 23 on Northern Long-Eared Bat Proposal

On May 23, AGA joined a broad industry coalition led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in filing comments on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to list the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The 14 trade associations participating in this coalition represent a diverse range of business interests within the 37-state range of the NLEB that would potentially be impacted a decision to list the NLEB as endangered. The comments highlighted the Associations’ support of the Endangered Species Act’s purpose of protecting species threatened with extinction and recognized the need for science-based, data-driven actions that help conserve species and the habitat on which they depend. The comments also emphasized the Associations’ concern about the collateral consequences of this listing on businesses of all sizes throughout the range of the NLEB if the proposed listing is not accompanied by carefully crafted, creative solutions to appropriately target protections for the species without creating an unworkable regulatory regime. To that end, the Associations urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to commit the time, effort, and resources to identify practical, efficient ESA compliance pathways that allow for conservation of the species in a manner that addresses the primary threat to the species—white-nose syndrome—and does not put an undue burden on businesses.