WDAD NEWS, sponsored by IRMC at Chestnut Ridge
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New school construction impinges on endangered specie's habitat



The Armstrong School Board last night approved a mandatory donation of $61,800 to mitigate the effect of its new school construction on an endangered bat species that was discovered on the school’s site.


The money will be paid to the Indiana Bat Conservation Fund and will be used by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to purchase land that is a favorable habitat for the bats.  The school district is required to pay the money because it will be removing trees within twenty acres of the bats’ living area, and because the district does not own other ground that it could substitute for the affected acreage.  Without the donation, construction would have to be halted. 


The Indiana bat is found all over the eastern half of the United States, and its population is declining rapidly due to a number of factors, including White-Nose Syndrome.  There are less than 400,000 of them left, about half the number that there were when the species was first listed as endangered in 1967.


The funds will be deducted from the $8 million in “soft costs” built into the school’s budget for the $60 million project.

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