By Robin Culverwell

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A hearing was held in Harrisburg this past week to consider the federal plan to add the Long Eared Bat to the Endangered Species list. The idea was met with much opposition.

The hearing was organized by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources.

This bat’s population has been decimated in recent years by a deadly fungus known as white nose syndrome. In some areas entire colonies have been wiped out.

Among those testifying against giving the bat federal protection is Union County farmer Jim Brubaker, who says doing so would hinder economic development.

“Natural gas and wind and energy development, pesticide, insecticide and herbicide applications, highway construction and timber harvesting.”

A spokeswoman for the Center for Biological Diversity told the committee that the endangered species act is the only way to give the bat population a chance to rebound.

Currently the disease is in 38 states and experts say in time it affect colonies across much of North America.

The national Fish and Wildlife Service has until 2016 to decide whether to add the bat to the endangered species list.

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