Center for Biological Diversity Wants Caving Cancelled at NSS Convention
The Center for Biological Diversity is urging the U.S. Forest Service to not grant cave permits to the National Speleological Society for it’s upcoming convention July 18-24 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado which is expected to bring in more than 1,000 cavers.
In a recent letter to the Forest Service, the Center for Biological Diversity argues that the risk of exposing bats to White-nose Syndrome should outweigh recreational caving by members of the NSS.
Last fall the Rocky Mountain Region of the Forest Service enacted a temporary ban on entering caves, while they decide the correct course of action. This ban allowed for exemptions by special use permit, which is what the NSS is counting on in order to provide cave tours in 17 caves in the White River National Forest.
In order to minimize the risk of transmitting White-nose Syndrome, attendees to the convention have been told to leave their equipment at home, as loaner equipment will be provided. This loaner gear will also be decontaminated before and after caving by following the procedure outlined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Forest Service could decide whether to issue the permits any day now.
For more information or to register for the NSS 2011 Convention, visit the official website.
Group wants Glenwood caving convention kept topside [AspenTimes.com] via @RockyMtnCaving