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Environment and Outdoors

Tree-Cutting Resumes After Hiatus To Protect Endangered Bats

Threatened Bats Protection
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
This undated file photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shows a northern long-eared bat. Federal officials issued regulations Wednesday Jan. 13, 2016, designed to protect the northern long-eared bat, one of several types of bat that have suffered steep declines because of a rapidly spreading fungal disease. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it had updated interim rules that accompanied a decision last April to designate the northern long-eared bat as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

THE FORKS, Maine — Tree-cutting is resuming on a $1 billion electric transmission project in western Maine after a two-month hiatus over a federally protected bat. The New England Clean Energy Connect is able to resume construction beginning as early as Sunday on a key part of a 145-mile power line that would be a conduit for up to 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to reach the New England power grid.

Tree-cutting was put on hold in June and July to protect the newly born young of a federally protected bat. Like most bats, the northern long-eared bats have been decimated by so-called white nose syndrome in Maine.