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Friday, March 13, 2015

Rep. G T Thompson: “Listing the Northern Long-Eared Bat as endangered has never been warranted"

Thompson Urges Flexibility with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Northern Long-Eared Bat Rule

Washington, D.C. –Today U.S. Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) and 15 Members of the House of Representatives called upon the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to provide flexibility with the agency’s proposal to list the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

In December, the Service proposed listing the NLEB as threatened under the ESA through a special 4(d) Rule, which would provide exemptions for certain activities if they meet prescribed conservation activities. The initial rule, however, did not specify which activities would be granted exemptions, apart from forest management. Because this species of bat can be found in 38 states, including all of Pennsylvania, a broad ESA listing would have far-reaching impacts upon the states and permissible land use activities.

“Listing the Northern Long-Eared Bat as endangered has never been warranted," said Thompson. "Since day one, the Fish & Wildlife Service has repeatedly acknowledged the underlying cause of population declines is a disease, White Nose Syndrome, not habitat loss through human activity. Rather than limiting commerce and land use activities, impacting jobs and local economies, the Fish & Wildlife Service should focus their efforts on combating White Nose Syndrome.”

Thompson has called for activities such as commercial timber harvesting, forest management, oil and gas development, mining, agriculture, and construction of commercial and residential buildings to be given the proper flexibility and exemptions if the Fish & Wildlife Service moves forward with a final 4(d) Rule.

Joining Thompson were 15 other Members of Congress: Bill Shuster (PA-09), Mike Kelly (PA-03), Scott Perry (PA-04), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Thomas Massie (KY-04), Keith Rothfus (PA-12), Tim Murphy (PA-18), Patrick Tiberi (OH-12), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Tom Marino (PA-10), Lou Barletta (PA-11), Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Hal Rogers (KY-05), Bill Johnson (OH-06) and John Fleming, M.D. (LA-04).

The full text of the letter can be found here.


Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what causes the population numbers of a species to plummet, being listed as endangered is about how many of the critters remain alive in the wild. White Nose Syndrome is what is causing the population to die off. Important to know about White Nose Syndrome is how it is spread from bat to bat by contact/being in close proximity to another bat with the disease. The bat populations that are suffering the most are the ones that hibernate in large groups in places like caves. The bats that hibernate in the woods in smaller groups or by themselves are not catching this disease as rapidly. If we don't protect their habitat where the populations aren't dying as quickly, we're going to help kill them off quicker and that will give us less time to find a cure for the White Nose Syndrome.

I wonder if Mr. Thompson is familiar with the Bald Eagle? It wasn't being killed off by natural causes, but chemicals humans were putting into the environment. It was listed as an endangered species anyways and after the industries that were killing eagles (and a bunch of other birds and mammals) changed their practices, the populations increased dramatically.

One of the basic differences between these two species of animals is their usefulness to humans. Eagles usefulness is basically their pretty to look at and are our national symbol. Bats, on the other hand, eat insects (a lot of them) and help keep pest insect populations down. This means they eat mosquitoes, gnats and other things that bite us and sometimes carry diseases that harm us.

When taking a stance like this, it appears that Mr. Thompson is a mouthpiece for big business and industry and the top 1% of the population that holds the money and power in this country. Even though he is being voted into office by the PEOPLE in his district, he isn't supporting their wishes, but the wishes of the industries and big businesses that have financial interests in his district, even though the people in his district aren't getting any real benefit from these industries and businesses. In some instances, the people in his district may be harmed by these industries and businesses and the benefits (money) is going into the pockets of someone thousands of miles away (the company owners).

As citizens, we need to hold our elected officials responsible when they do not represent us. We need to stop siding with individuals based on their political party affiliation and really understand what is motivating their thought process and really understand what can be gained and what can be lost as a result of these decisions. It isn't about being a Republican or a Democrat. Following anyone blindly is a bad idea, but we do it all the time. We allow them to influence us by letting them scare us into believing someone is going to take our guns or our bibles or whatever else is dear to us, so we think if they'll protect our guns, they'll protect the rest of us. THIS ISN'T TRUE, but they're doing a good job of making us believe it is.

Anonymous said...

Since everything I wanted to say has just been said (659), I will simply say these bats need to be protected and this includes their habitat.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Thompson! Your common sense approach and fundamental understanding serves my vote well.

Anonymous said...

As an avid outdoors-man I have been watching the population of bats decline at an extreme rate!!! When trout fishing in the evenings it was not uncommon to encounter large numbers of bats. Now here in Potter County it is rare to see any. I live on the Triple divide and have always had bats at my home. I have not seen a single bat for two years. I pay close attention to them. Before we could sit outside and it was rare to be bitten by a mosquito at our elevation away from water. Now bites in the evening are common.
A single bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects every hour, and each bat usually eats 6,000 to 8,000 insects each night. Their appetite for mosquitoes certainly makes a backyard more comfortable. Bats are opportunistic, and their lack of discretion benefits everyone.
Think of all the diseases mosquitoes can spread and then think what would happen without them!

Anonymous said...

Silly rednecks ! Bats are for democrats.