View Full Version : Federal Government Urged To Close all Bat Caves and Mines.

01-23-2010, 09:23 AM
This could prove interesting.


For more info on what this is all about....check out this link to the National Speleological Society discussion board.
Could this actually end all caving on public lands?
:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

01-23-2010, 09:28 AM

01-23-2010, 09:33 AM
Here is a link to the press release from the center for biological diversity.


Read the petition carefully....it mentions closing all caves that harbor bats or are suspected to harbor bats. Any cave could be suspect to harbor bats. :ne_nau:

01-26-2010, 09:46 PM
It could end caving on private land too. See the notification to private cave owners.... opening their caves to visitation could put them in violation of section 9 of the Endangered Species Act. :nono:

And labeling all caves on federal land that harbor bats as significant.... that really broadens the Federal Cave and Karst Protection Act. That means all claystone caves would be significant.... :nod:

07-10-2010, 08:49 PM
Apparently Monday the man is stickin it to us... It was a fun year and a 1/3 while it lasted but all good things must come to an end I guess. Every cave in the state will be closed monday, including wyoming, south dakota, idaho, and many others. Will they ever re open?

I love how we're stripped of our freedom because of the bats but yet BP can wipe out the human race with no restriction.

07-10-2010, 10:25 PM
so will the nss now disband? what's a grotto to do?

07-12-2010, 08:02 AM
Anyone have a news link or something?

07-12-2010, 08:05 AM
Looks like it's 'closure of all US Forest Service caves in Colorado, South Dakota and most of Wyoming'

Still reading up on what's going on, but here's one link


[QUOTE] Widespread cave closures predicted; fungus killing bats

By Dennis Webb (http://www.gjsentinel.com/member/49/)
Friday, July 9, 2010
The U.S. Forest Service appears poised to close caves and abandoned mines in Colorado and several other states for a year in an attempt to protect bats from a fungus that is causing high mortality rates in the eastern United States.
The closures are expected to be announced next week and would particularly affect western Colorado

07-12-2010, 08:26 AM
Did you read the responses at that link you provided Jumar? I thought this one was interesting.

By RayKeeler - Sunday, July 11, 2010
Closing Colorado Caves on Forest Service managed lands would be a very poor decision. Enforcement, other than for a few gated caves, is not cost effective, the correct management decision, or enforceable.
The overwhelming evidence is that White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is spread from bat to bat. Though shown only in the lab that the spores can be transferred on clothing, there is NO documented instance of cavers transferring the spores in the field.
Data point 1: 2007 - National Speleological Convention in the Summer in Indiana. Scores of cavers attended from the Northeast, who had participated in WNS infected caves the previous winter and spring. There is still no WNS in Indiana.
Data Point 2. Hell Hole West Virginia has been closed to human visitation for 3 years. February 2010 bat counts showed substantial infection rates.
Data Point 3. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published decontamination procedures that are being implemented though out the U.S.
Data Point 4. Bat Conservation International published bat migration flight routes in 2008, before WNS had progressed to the current point. ALL of the expansion locations are along these routes.
Data Point 5: Attempts to stop fire ants spreading from the non-freezing southeast failed. Substantial efforts to stop Africanized bees from spreading from South America to Central America to the U.S. failed.
The recommended management is:
1. Seasonal closures for caves with hibernating bats
2. Education for using decontamination procedures after entering caves.
This cooperative effort can help with the better understanding of something that humans cannot control anyway.
A metaphor would be: A kindergarten class has one child who has the flu. The class plays together, and takes an afternoon nap while the child coughs. The janitor is blamed for spreading the flu because he entered the room.
This possible Forest Service decision is blaming the janitor for spread of the flu.


07-13-2010, 05:02 PM
FWIW. Ray Keeler is the Adminstrative Vice President of the NSS whom I've had the pleasure of meeting. :2thumbs: I like his response. :clap:

07-13-2010, 05:35 PM
I was just contacted a few weeks ago to do a video for BLM on White-nose syndrome prevention. I'll start shooting next month in New Mexico.
BLM's response so far has been to educate the public on how to stop spreading the problem (if indeed they are), hence the video. It's very similar to spreading zebra mussels by boats, or noxious weed seed in your tires. So they seem to be in line with Ray Keeler's second recommendation.
I haven't heard any talk of closing caves (and there are a ton on BLM land), but I know it has scared the crap out of our cave and bat experts. They don't know exactly how it's spreading either. Won't say closures can't happen, but BLM seems a little more relaxed in their approach.

Edit: i should disclose that I work for BLM, but in no way do I represent them in any way in this forum. Any statements I make are my own opinion, and not reflective of any actions that BLM may or may not make in the future.
There, that should do it.......

07-14-2010, 08:46 PM
What a sad situation indeed, I am definitely for the bats and love the little guys... but closing the caves and mines without solid evidence that humans are causing the problem is a little extreme IMHO.

I was just contacted a few weeks ago to do a video for BLM on White-nose syndrome prevention. I'll start shooting next month in New Mexico.
If you need any help or want a mine exploration group insight or perspective let me know... I'd be glad to offer my opinion or help with shooting. I have an AGDVX100B and a sweet Sennheiser Lav Mic setup. Fortunately I have not seen or heard of any cases of white nose in any of the mine or cave bat populations that I have seen in Utah or Nevada. This year alone I have visited over 150 mines and caves and seen thousands of healthy bats.

07-16-2010, 11:42 AM
This Saturday there will be an emergency meeting of the Colorado Cave Survey. Nancy Warren of UFSF region II will be in attendance for at least the first part of the meeting.

There should me much information at this meeting. I won't be there but I will post the minutes here.

Could they be starting to back off a bit???????

07-20-2010, 05:51 AM
After a meeting of the Colorado Cave Survey on Saturday in which members of the caving community plead there case to some members of the Forest Service it still looks like the announcement of blanket closures is coming, Maybe next week?

07-20-2010, 11:46 AM
The part that scares me the most is that Forest Service closures are going to last for a year and MAYBE MORE. With no real time limit they may just decide its easier to keep them closed and never open them up again.

07-22-2010, 11:46 AM
The part that scares me the most is that Forest Service closures are going to last for a year and MAYBE MORE. With no real time limit they may just decide its easier to keep them closed and never open them up again.
Wouldn't surprise me if they don't open up again. :angryfire:

08-03-2010, 09:11 AM
Looks like region 2 caves are now closed. :cry1: How do you think Utah will respond when it's their turn to close caves?:bootyshake: