MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — The National Park Service has shelved a proposed extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail to Paw Paw because it could threaten bats that roost in three tunnels along the route.

Chris Stubbs with the park service tells The Journal that the bat populations in the tunnels don’t have white nose syndrome. He says disturbing their habitat would make them susceptible to the fungus that causes the deadly illness.

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Stubbs also says humans can carry the fungus.

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He says there’s no way to go around one tunnel along the proposed route because the land is too steep.

Stubbs says the park service regrets that the extension project couldn’t go forward.

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