North Alabama's Fern Cave Vandalized

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Re: North Alabama's Fern Cave Vandalized

Postby Scott McCrea » Jul 19, 2011 12:57 pm

Steve, are there any pics of the damage. It might help, adding a visual element, to an article or web/blog post or press release, etc.
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Re: North Alabama's Fern Cave Vandalized

Postby LukeM » Jul 19, 2011 1:14 pm

Steve, I sent you a PM.
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Re: North Alabama's Fern Cave Vandalized

Postby Pippin » Jul 22, 2011 6:43 pm

Scott, we didn't have a camera and we don't have permission to go back to document the graffiti. We hope to get permission to go clean it up, and if we do we'll certainly photodocument and post pictures. Luckily the graffiti isn't too bad, but if the management practices don't change, in a few years, one of the finest caves in Alabama will be trashed. FWS policy has reversed 30 years of effective cave conservation in 2.5 years. Quite an accomplishment.
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Re: North Alabama's Fern Cave Vandalized

Postby Pippin » Jul 22, 2011 6:52 pm

Oh and I forgot to add that the irony is that the bats in the cave are really in more danger of disturbance now than when the cave was open. Bats don't hibernate in the section of the cave we visited last weekend, but there's now no way to monitor whether or not people are going to the hibernaculum entrance and to make sure the bats aren't disturbed. We know some of the people visiting the cave are from WNS-positive states, but since they're now free to just sneak in anytime they want, there isn't a way to make sure they're deconning. It's very frustrating to see this happen to a cave we love, and a bat colony we love, and not be able to do anything to protect it anymore.
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Re: North Alabama's Fern Cave Vandalized

Postby tncaver » Jul 22, 2011 7:42 pm

Frankly it is not human visitors from WNS positive states that worry me, it is the vandals that can physically harm the cave and the bats
in short order. I know of a particular cave here in TN that has been visited by hundreds of cavers from all over the country and foreign
countries to include those WNS states, yet there is no evidence of WNS. I highly doubt that all of them were properly deconned.
Quite obviously it is infected bats that we should be worrying about. This cave does not have a bat friendly gate. Only a few bats find
their way in. Perhaps that is why there is no WNS in the cave. In fact, that is the MOST LIKELY REASON it does not have WNS.
There are bats in the cave but only a small number and they were healthy last time I saw them. All this decon and worry about human
visitors is a crock of c_ _ p in my opinion. Just look at the way WNS spread over the past 5 years. Bat migration routes. And it took
years to go in other directions. Cavers would have spread WNS in months all over the country if they were the vector. How obvious
does it have to be?
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Re: North Alabama's Fern Cave Vandalized

Postby BrianC » Jul 22, 2011 8:47 pm

tncaver wrote:Frankly it is not human visitors from WNS positive states that worry me, it is the vandals that can physically harm the cave and the bats
in short order. I know of a particular cave here in TN that has been visited by hundreds of cavers from all over the country and foreign
countries to include those WNS states, yet there is no evidence of WNS. I highly doubt that all of them were properly deconned.
Quite obviously it is infected bats that we should be worrying about. This cave does not have a bat friendly gate. Only a few bats find
their way in. Perhaps that is why there is no WNS in the cave. In fact, that is the MOST LIKELY REASON it does not have WNS.
There are bats in the cave but only a small number and they were healthy last time I saw them. All this decon and worry about human
visitors is a crock of c_ _ p in my opinion. Just look at the way WNS spread over the past 5 years. Bat migration routes. And it took
years to go in other directions. Cavers would have spread WNS in months all over the country if they were the vector. How obvious
does it have to be?


This is the truest factual consideration possible, All other scenarios are completely for self gratification and money period!
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Re: North Alabama's Fern Cave Vandalized

Postby justinmiller » Aug 3, 2011 5:23 pm

if/when you back to clean up fern cave, shoot me a pm and i'll go with you. it's been 10 years or longer since i was there last.
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