The future of the Bracken Bat cave is far from resolved. The cave, which has the largest maternal bat colony in the world, made news last summer when Galo Properties announced a planned housing development near the cave. The announcement caused an uproar from both water conservation and bat advocates.
The development would be too close to the cave in bat advocates' minds, guaranteeing negative interactions between humans and the Mexican free-tail bats. Water conservation advocates were concerned that it was built over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.
Galo tried to unload the property on another developer, but those talks fell apart late last year. Meanwhile, a coalition of city, county, and bat advocates have been working to purchase the land from Galo. Last week the Comal County Commissioners Court signed a measure supporting the effort.
But where will the money come from? The bat cave, which is in Comal County, is technically in the San Antonio extraterritorial jurisdiction. So who pays?
Bat Conservation International has stated it will chip in and San Antonio can tap funds for aquifer protection. Will Bexar County assist? Will Comal come through with money? It is all up in the air.
The cave was recently mentioned by PBS in a documentary "The Gathering Swarms"
- Ron Nirenberg, District 8 council member who has been working on this since taking office in June.
*This is the second segment in the May 29 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM. Audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.