Group Threatens U.S. Government To Close Caves
The Center for Biological Diversity is now threatening to sue the U.S. government within 30 days unless it closes all caves and abandoned mines on public lands. This demand is meant to help bats dealing with the White-nose syndrome epidemic that is currently affecting North America.
“We’re facing a number of bat species probably going extinct within a few decades if things don’t change,” Mollie Matteson – Center for Biological Diversity
Although the fungus that transmits the disease is known to travel bat to bat, it is believed that people visiting caves may also transmit the fungal spores.
Most states east of the Mississippi have already taken action, closing their caves and abandoned mines, and recently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have recommended closing caves where the fungus has been detected and the adjacent states. However, the Center for Biological Diversity argues that these actions are inadequate to address the outbreak.
Closures, such as those being currently considered in U.S. Forestry Service Northern Region are not going over well with cavers, and any debate is expected to become heated.
It will be very interesting to see how this story develops. Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.