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Bat cave near San Antonio raises conservation concerns

With progress and growth, sometimes conservation issues can get in the way of residential and commercial real estate, and real estate litigation can occur as a result. Laws exist to protect wildlife from coming to harm with new construction and people moving into the territory. This can cause a problem for developers, who often are trying to meet the demand for more space with an ever-growing population. Texas is a huge area with lots of land, but more and more people move here every day to take advantage of our state’s many opportunities.

A San Antonio developer bought a large area of property several years ago, intending to build a housing subdivision. However, his plans may become complicated, due to a large bat colony nearby. The Bracken Bat Cave is a huge colony of ten million bats that conservation groups say is unique, and also largely beneficial to local farmers.

When the San Antonio Water System approved the developer’s contract for water and sewer service, the groups Bat Conservation International and Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance opposed the plans, saying new construction would threaten both the bat colony and the valuable aquifer nearby.

A spokesman for the Water System disagrees, saying that The Water System and the Aquifer Alliance have already purchased hundreds of acres of land to conserve the bat colony. San Antonio’s mayor is attempting to assure all the groups involved that before a decision is made to proceed with the developer’s plans, steps will be taken to protect the bat colony and the unique natural resources of the area.

Source: NPR.org, “Massive Bat Cave Stirs Texas-Size Debate Over Development,” Ryan Loyd, June 11, 2013

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