Friday, October 30, 2009

The point is: Bats are part of the equation, part of the environment which will be significantly changed, so let's deal with it! Since December of 2003 I've presented to CLAMP the connection of Capitol Lake--as a fresh water basin--to the the maternity cycle of many thousands of regional bats, and requested for at least enough research to find out if there are any possibilities for mitigating their certain losses if the basin's freshwater environment is removed.

Fairly often I'm asked (or more accurately told) 'if an estuary will hurt the bat colonies, you must support the lake option, right?'

My answer? The one I have given for the past 5 years: I can't endorse either option -- the managed freshwater lake nor the engineered estuary -- until there is a science-based discussion about the fate of the large congregation of reproductive bats who have found refuge in this remnant of freshwater habitat, water which sustains thousands of mothers and their nursing pups (yeah, I do it in one breath). I can't support a saltwater option unless a serious discussion about mitigating the effects on the bat maternity colonies has occurred, and reviewed by qualified professionals. A science team, not a policy team. This seems reasonable, but this request has never been acknowledged. The record shows that this, its not just some last minute "hey, what about the bats?" The can of worms is that it's not just the bats that have been brushed aside... but they'll do for a scapegoat if needed.

Parts of the engineered estuary proposal reminds me of using bio-fuel for transportation: the idea is great, but the details are really messy.


  1. It doesn't sound (read) like a rant to me, Greg; it seems to be "just the facts, Ma'am." What options do you have left, if any, to pursue the study? And how can ignorant people like me -- who appreciate bats -- be of help? (I do know there are more species of bats than of any other mammalian family, even more than rodents, which has always amazed me.)

  2. Email Linda Bremmer, :

    The CLAMP committee recommendation-- a split vote -- is now on GA director Linda Bremer's desk. She is reviewing it, then will make her recommendations to the State Capitol Committee, who then makes a decision. All options, managed lake or engineered intertidal, require big funding, so it would finally go to the Leg for funding. Caveat: this project should require NEPA and/or SEPA review, so an EIS could have a huge impact on the project if it uncovers defects in the plan.

    So, Linda Bremer, who I believe to be an intelligent and thoughtful person, should hear from folks who believe that the process should have/should include consideration of the thousands (>5,000) of reproductive female bats, from local maternity colonies (or even the concept of mitigation).

    Her email: