Endangered species designation slows northern trail project

BatTrail enthusiasts in northern Michigan will have to wait a bit longer for construction of a new trail from Boyne City to Charlevoix.

The project delay is the result of a recent designation of the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.

Ross Maxwell is the Parks and Recreation Director for Charlevoix County.

He said, “It looks like we will not be able to clear the trees between June 1st and July 31st, that’s when the bats are in their maternity roost trees. So basically, it looks like the trail will be started at the end of the summer.”

Maxwell said phase one of the trail project is expected to start and finish sometime in the fall.

He said, “Phase one should start the end of this summer. If phase two does not start this year, phase two and three next year and so on. We have five phases that will connect Boyne City to Charlevoix to the Little Traverse Wheelway.”