Fireworks spark feds' attention

Agencies concerned over impact on endangered bats and federally owned land


July 20, 2023

Pine Haven Volunteer Fire Department’s fireworks display was a raving success this year, with Keyhole packed to capacity and people lining the highways far beyond park gates to watch the show.

However, it almost did not happen.

The decades-old event was challenged this year by federal agencies including the Bureau of Reclamation as they own the land on which Keyhole State Park resides and Fish and Wildlife because of the northern long-eared bat that lives in the immediate vicinity of the display.

According to Mayor Karla Brandenburg, “It started with the bats and went on from one thin...

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