Brooke Marcus Comments on Impact of Endangered Listing for Northern Long-Eared Bat
Brooke Marcus was quoted in the Law360 article “Bat's Newly Endangered Status Could Limit Many U.S. Projects” (subscription required). The article delved into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s recent proposal to strengthen federal protections to the maximum level for the northern long-eared bat, which is found in 37 states. The action could curb project development in the bat’s habitat areas and be a burden on resources for regulators and the energy industry. The bat is currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but this move would change that listing to endangered as a result of new data.
Commenting on how the new listing could have unintended consequences for the Fish and Wildlife Service, Brooke claimed, “The difficulties that project proponents may face with a finalized endangered listing would also be felt on the agency's end…it could struggle to meet the demand for project-specific consultations with other federal agencies that may be making permitting decisions.”
Brooke also questioned why the rule lacked guidance that would help regulated entities navigate the new listing and avoid harming or killing bats, which could result in enforcement actions by the federal government.
“That can help the regulated community adjust to the listing,” she said. “It can also help reduce the drain on service resources, because folks have guidance right there in the rule that gives them a little bit of direction... It becomes challenging for anyone that may undertake activities that clear wooded areas that constitute northern long-eared bat habitat.”