Bats are an important part of our ecosystem and have been dieing out rapidly. Please read the message below and if so inclined take action. Thanks!
To protect hibernating bats from white-nose syndrome, the fast-moving fungal disease that has killed nearly 7 million bats in the eastern United States, the U.S. Forest Service has kept caves closed in the Rocky Mountain Region for two years to all but the most essential human access. Now, with the policy up for renewal, the Forest Service is considering weakening protections for bats, increasing the risk of cave visitors bringing the disease into the caves.
Nationwide the loss of bats could mean exploding populations of insects no longer kept in check by these furry, fly-by-night mammals. Scientists have estimated that by keeping insect pests at bay and reducing the need for pesticides, bats are worth $22 billion annually to American farmers. In Colorado, these savings could reach $430 million per year; in South Dakota, $1.1 billion.
While bats are dying at rates topping 90 percent in some areas, and some species could face extinction, the risk to western bats and farmers is too great to justify easing restrictions for discretionary cave uses like recreation.
Please take action today to send a message to the Forest Service and express your support for maintaining the current, responsible management policy.