- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Two top South Dakota lawmakers are calling on federal authorities to withdraw a proposed listing of northern long-eared bats as endangered.

U.S. Senator John Thune and Rep. Kristi Noem sent a letter to U.S. Interior Department and Fish and Wildlife Service leaders on Tuesday saying there is insufficient supporting data to warrant the listing.

The Republican lawmakers say the proposal would restrict forest management and threaten more than 1,500 jobs in the area of Black Hills National Forest. They say regulations could harm the timber industry.

Thune and Noem say the proposed regulations wouldn’t address white nose syndrome, which officials say has killed more than 5.5 million bats across the Northeast and Canada. The lawmakers say the agencies should focus on combating the syndrome rather than increasing forest regulations.

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