Industrial park project cuts down trees in bat habitat

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Construction of a storm water handling facility at the Enterprise South industrial park in Chattanooga has destroyed a bat habitat.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press ( ) reported the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to allow the project to continue, but the Chattanooga Industrial Development Board must put nearly $18,000 in to a conservation fund.

As it turns out, 54 trees felled on the 30-acre tract were roosting spots for the endangered Indiana brown bat. The species has been on the endangered list since 1967.

Federal wildlife officials say fewer than 425,000 of the bats have been documented and nearly 13,000 of them are in Tennessee.

The new facility will handle storm runoff from the Volkswagen auto assembly plant and other development at the park.

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