East coast mines and caves closed
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Author:  Jason Barrett [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:00 am ]
Post subject:  East coast mines and caves closed

Caves and mines closed..east coast

Read the following for more information:

National Forests in North Carolina WNS Supplement
How many mines and caves are there on National Forest lands in North Carolina?
There are numerous unnamed small caves and abandoned mines on Forest lands, particularly in the mountains and on the Uwharrie National Forest in the piedmont. Blowing Springs cave and smaller caves in the Nantahala River Gorge are included in this closure. The Ray Mine area on the Appalachian District in Yancey County includes numerous small mine openings, all of which are closed with this closure order. Rock hounding is limited to exterior surface collection.

Are there any caves or mines within the National Forests in North Carolina confirmed to have WNS? No.

Are other agencies closing their caves and abandoned mines in North Carolina?
Yes. The US Fish and Wildlife Service sent out recommendations for closure and protocols for decontamination of clothes and equipment. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park closed all caves and mines in April. Spelunking organizations across the country are supporting the effort by educating their members and encouraging cavers to avoid areas of cave closures.

What about privately owned caves?
Linville Caverns in McDowell County is privately owned and remains open. Bat Cave in Henderson County is owned by The Nature Conservancy. These and other privately owned caves are not regulated by this closure order. This closure order pertains only to those caves and abandoned mines found within National Forests in the Southern Region. The Eastern Region of the US Forest Service previously issued a similar closure order.

News Release: 1720 Peachtree Rd, Suite 750, Atlanta GA 30309
Contact: Stephanie Neal Johnson,
(404) 347-7226, c (404) 895-1709



ATLANTA – Most caves and mines on National Forests in the southeastern United States are being closed for one year in an effort to protect bats, according to Regional Forester Liz Agpaoa.
“We are working to stop the uncontrolled spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) among bat species,” she said. “The closures will allow scientists and land managers time to work together and study the fungus, learn how it spreads and how to best address it.”
Under the 12-month closure order signed by Agpaoa on May 21, 2009, all caves and abandoned mines on national forests and units in 13 Southeastern states from Oklahoma to Virginia and Florida will be closed unless posted as open. All uses would be prohibited except organized rescue efforts and other actions specifically authorized by the agency.
White Nose Syndrome, or WNS, is named for a white fungus that appears on the faces, ears, wings and feet of hibernating bats. Scientists are trying to determine how WNS affects bats. The disease causes bats to come out of hibernation severely underweight. In a desperate attempt to avoid starving, the affected bats are often seen flying during the day. They are looking for food, but the insects they normally eat in the spring are not yet available. Once a colony is affected, the fungus spreads rapidly and may kill 90 percent of bats at the hibernation site in just two years.


Bats are a natural and important part of forests and help control forest and agricultural insect pests.
Scientists believe the WNS fungus is spread bat-to-bat as they cluster in caves and mines, and it may be unknowingly transferred from one cave or mine to another on the footwear and gear of humans. Infected caves and mines may not show obvious signs of its presence.
No reported human illnesses have been attributed to the fungus.
"The syndrome has already affected caves in Virginia in close proximity to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests,” said Dennis Krusac, Threatened and Endangered Species Specialist for the Forest Service’s Southern Region. "Staying out of caves and mines is the one thing we can do right now to slow the further spread of the fungus.”
The closure order was implemented in hopes of protecting some of the largest bat populations in the country, Krusac said. Many national forests in the Southern Region are home to several species of bats, including the federally endangered Indiana bat, Virginia big-eared bat, gray bat and Ozark big-eared bats.
Nearly 500,000 bats have died as a result of WNS in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states, including almost 25,000 Indiana bats.

Caves and Abandoned Mines are closed Within the National Forests in North Carolina

Due to a mysterious disease, White nose Syndrome, bats are dying by the hundreds of thousands in the Northeast.

Caves and abandoned mines on all North Carolina National Forest lands are closed to prevent the possible spread of the disease.

Author:  Brian [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:59 am ]
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There was a recent article about this decimation of bats in the New Yorker magazine. You have to register to read the article, but it is pretty interesting.

Author:  gingerkid [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:45 pm ]
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thanks for posting this, amethystguy.

i believe i saw something on the georgia public broadcasting/the news hour with jim l. channel about the fungus which is killing the bats in the northeastern part of the us.

sad news...even though the fungus has not been found in the southeast, i believe it's necessary to close caves and/or mines for the survival of bats-and we have alot of them just in the state of GA.

hopefully, researchers will be able to help the bats by finding the origin of the fungus and a possible cure. i read further information that in the northeast fines are strict with possible imprisonment if anyone is caught exploring caves. also, congress has been made aware of the fungus killing the bats.

off topic, but, i thought i would mention that there's alot of strange things (diseases) happening with animals lately. the tasmanian devil's existence has been threatened because of tumors/cancer on their faces caused by biting each other-they are having to separate the tazzies which are infected from those which aren't.

Author:  gsellis [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:39 pm ]
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I am just happy that the forest service biologist learned from past experience. The frog fungus that was causing issues in the 90's and early 2000's (along with dragon fly nymphs) was spread in large part by biologist checking the populations for this "mysterious" disease that they originally blamed on pollution.

Author:  Jason Barrett [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:42 pm ]
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Is there fungus amongus.....

Author:  gingerkid [ Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:34 pm ]
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:lol: jason! white-nose fungus is amongus

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