Feds Demand Halt On Walmart Construction Because Of Bats, Plants

Emma Colton Deputy Editor
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services wrote a pointed letter to a Florida developer building a Walmart, requesting that all development stop because a few endangered plants and animals may or may not be living on the tract of land.

The Miami Herald reported that Ram Realty Services received a heated letter from the government agency demanding that all plans of construction cease until a thorough investigation of the land is completed. According to the report, the tract of land is tucked between two national parks in the Miami-Dade area of Florida, and could possibly be the home of eight endangered species — most notably some Florida bonneted bats and unnamed endangered plants.

According to an earlier article in The Miami Herald, a board member from the North American Butterfly Association was so angered by the thought of constructing business in that area, he demanded that the federal wildlife agent intervene and halt development immediately.

“You wonder how things end up being endangered? This is how. This is bad policy and bad enforcement,” attorney and butterfly enthusiast Dennis Olle told The Miami Herald.

And a few days later, the Fish and Wildlife Agency got involved and told Ram Realty to step away from any construction plans until it could be determined if any bats or other threatened species made homes in the 144-acres of land.

After the government agency penned the harsh letter, both Ram Realty and Walmart representatives released statements about having long dedicated histories of preserving lands when planning and building shopping centers.

“We will take no action that disturbs the natural environment before resolving the Service’s concerns,” the Ram Realty statement said. “The environment will be a valuable asset for the community we plan to create.” (RELATED: Environmentalists Blunder On Monterey Shale Oil Claims)

Ram Realty plans to review the U.S, Fish and Wildlife Services’s recommendations, and has not stopped plans to build according to the report.