UPDATE: March 8,2017 – A judge deals a setback to environmentalists hoping to save some trees in a St. Louis County park for endangered bats.

The judge denied a request to issue a temporary restraining order that would have protected trees in Cliff Cave Park, where environmentalists claim the endangered Indiana Bat arrives each spring to roost. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger wants the trees removed to make way for construction equipment to pour concrete hiking trails in the park.

The judge scheduled a preliminary injunction hearing for Monday to consider more evidence on whether the bats are in the trees.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX) – An environmental law firm asks a judge to delay St. Louis County’s plan to knock down trees and pour concrete trails in Cliff Cave Park.

Kathleen Henry of the Great Rivers Law Firm says there’s an endangered species involved in the dispute – a bat.

Henry says they aren’t against the hiking trails. However, knocking down trees for the 2-mile trail might destroy the nests of bats that are just arriving to mate.

“We would like for the work to be postponed until Fish and Wildlife Service and Missouri Conversation can come out and study the bats and see if they are roosting.”

She says an endangered Indiana Bat has come to roost early this spring, and the bat depends on large, mature trees to roost in.

The suit also seeks a temporary restraining order to allow the county council time to properly vote on a contract to authorize the new trails.

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