In the West, there's a discussion on Ape Cave in WA

Cave conservation issues, techniques, questions. Also visit the NSS Cave Conservation and Management Section.

Moderator: Moderators

In the West, there's a discussion on Ape Cave in WA

Postby Ernie Coffman » Oct 10, 2015 6:38 pm

To bring everyone up to snuff, I'm copying a message which Ray explains, thoroughly, so...this is not just an issue for the West, but we need all cavers to get involved in writing messages, e-mail, or even phone calls. This message of Ray's will explain things for you.

Hello Cavers,

Thank you to Steve Knutson for forwarding the scoping letter.

Many of you know me as an Arizona caver. However from February through July this year I was working in the Portland area, and am a Willamette Valley Grotto, and Oregon Grotto member.

This is a western United States issue, not just USFS Region 6, and we can really use national input. More on this below.

We need letters, emails and phone calls to encourage the Monument to make the right decisions.

The scoping letter has a hand written date of October 1st, 2015. The comment period lasts until October 30th.

Apparently WVG, OG, Steve, or I were notified (part of the NEPA process). The Gifford Pinchot has contact information on us as stake holders.

During May, June and July Ape Cave area recommendations were created. I am the author. These are located on the Oregon Grotto’s Projects page. You can read the recommendations at ... 202015.pdf

Now that the scoping letter is out I will submit the document so it is formally entered. It is 22 pages long. Enjoy.

Why is this a Western United States caving issue? WNS: There are qualifier words in the scoping letter. These are “If there are changing conditions around white-nose syndrome, a decontamination station along with a generator would be placed along the trail to the cave entrance.”

More than 100,000 people visit Ape Cave per year. If 1/10th of one percent (that is one in a thousand) of these visitors comes from the eastern U.S. after visiting caves in WNS areas, that is at least 100 people per year, every year that may be transferring WNS. We cannot wait for the “If there are changing conditions …” to happen. The Gifford Pinchot NF needs to step up. The qualifier words say the Gifford Pinchot NF will not. Right now the dry Great Plains are acting as the limiting factor of WNS spreading to the western U.S. (limiting bat migration). If WNS gets a foot hold anywhere in the west, there are less geographical barriers for spreading south to Oregon and California, and east to the Rockies and then south. (Sorry, Steve, but WNS has funding.)

If NSS cavers have to go through WNS decon at NSS Conventions the Gifford Pinchot NF needs to step up.

There are other large, close, significant caves in the Ape Cave area. The scoping letters mentions nothing about protecting these caves.

Apparently Deb Schoenberg is the lead now. The person who was the lead is not mentioned, I spoke with her in September for an update, and she did not say anything.

Deb Schoenberg 360-891-5176

Recreation Planner/Landscape Architect

Region 6 & Pacific Northwest Research Station (Washington, Oregon)
R6,Gifford Pinchot NF,SO

William Uyesugi 360-449-7828

Recreation & Facilities Manager

Region 6 & Pacific Northwest Research Station (Washington, Oregon)
R6,Gifford Pinchot NF,Mt St Helens Natl Vol Monument

Brittany N Zapata 360-891-5117

(no position listed on the USFS Employee web site)

Region 6 & Pacific Northwest Research Station (Washington, Oregon)
R6,Gifford Pinchot NF,SO

Thank you in advance for your help,

Ray Keeler

Ernie Coffman
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 1145
Joined: Sep 10, 2005 12:07 am
Location: Grants Pass, Oregon

Return to Conservation Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users