Agency delays protections for imperiled bat, prairie chicken
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. The Biden administration is temporarily delaying stepped-up legal protections for two imperiled species following efforts by congressional Republicans to derail the actions.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday it was postponing reclassification of the northern long-eared bat from threatened to the more severe endangered category until March 31. The change had been scheduled to take effect Jan. 30.
On Tuesday, the service announced that new designations for the lesser prairie chicken scheduled to take effect then had been bumped to March 27. The agency is granting endangered status to the grassland bird's southern population segment while listing the northern segment as threatened.
The administration said the delays were intended to give regulators and those affected by the changes such as landowners, loggers, ranchers and wind turbine operators time to adjust.
This is basically a chance for us to get our guidance and tools ready for when the listing goes into effect, agency spokesperson Georgia Parham said, referring to the decision on the northern long-eared bat.
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