The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks is asking the Forest Service to hold off on opening a road that is close to a bat cave in the Black Hills.
The forest road is currently closed to motorized traffic in the wintertime to support wildlife habitat in the area. But adjacent private landowners are asking for a year round easement.
The road passes next to Erskine Cave, which is home to several species of sensitive bats that hibernate there.
The state agency says other roads in the area could be used to allow private landowners access without using the road adjacent to Erskine Cave.