More Cave Closures and....

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More Cave Closures and....

Postby tncaver » Dec 14, 2009 11:29 am

Be sure to read the latest USFWS update near the bottom of the WNS information links on the main NSS webpage. It was updated today (12-14-2009). All of TAG is now being affected by the latest decree by the USFWS. Here are the primary headlines
that everyone needs to read. Ironically, this shows that the USFWS has ignored all of the observations and advice that has been written on the NSS forum in the last two years. Perhaps we were not represented very well by those who were in close contact
with the USFWS.

Highlights of the latest WNS Update 12-14-2009

New USFWS Report on WNS Management - Cave Closures Will Play Primary Role.

White-Nose Syndrome Management: Area 3 Implementation Guide (November 2009)

White-Nose Syndrome Management: Report on Structured Decision Making Initiative (October 2009)
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby ArCaver » Dec 14, 2009 12:57 pm

tncaver wrote:Be sure to read the latest USFWS update near the bottom of the WNS information links on the main NSS webpage. It was updated today (12-14-2009). All of TAG is now being affected by the latest decree by the USFWS. Here are the primary headlines
that everyone needs to read. Ironically, this shows that the USFWS has ignored all of the observations and advice that has been written on the NSS forum in the last two years. Perhaps we were not represented very well by those who were in close contact
with the USFWS.

Highlights of the latest WNS Update 12-14-2009

New USFWS Report on WNS Management - Cave Closures Will Play Primary Role.

White-Nose Syndrome Management: Area 3 Implementation Guide (November 2009)

White-Nose Syndrome Management: Report on Structured Decision Making Initiative (October 2009)



...and more and more and more...

I'l go out on a limb and make a prediction. The bats will all die...except a few will survive, most, maybe all species will make the endangered species list and since all bats use all caves (Yeah, I know it's not true but this will be the argument put forth by USFWS, and bought hook, line and sinker by the public and elected officials.) all caves will be off limits. No, I don't mean a one year, or even five year moratorium, but a permanent closure. Many cavers supporting the present closure will get their feelings hurt when they realize they won't be part of the chosen few allowed to cave for research. A few will continue as assistants to the biologists. The NSS will morph into a purely science based organization consisting mostly of professionals. Cavers will stop turning in locations and a law will be passed making it an arrestable offense to keep a cave location secret.
Is the present moratorium really buying the scientists any time? I doubt it, if cavers were spreading the disease then it would have spotted all over North America by now.
I wonder when they'll start closing church steeples?
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby batrotter » Dec 14, 2009 6:59 pm

ArCaver wrote:...and more and more and more...

I'l go out on a limb and make a prediction. The bats will all die...except a few will survive, most, maybe all species will make the endangered species list and since all bats use all caves (Yeah, I know it's not true but this will be the argument put forth by USFWS, and bought hook, line and sinker by the public and elected officials.) all caves will be off limits. No, I don't mean a one year, or even five year moratorium, but a permanent closure. Many cavers supporting the present closure will get their feelings hurt when they realize they won't be part of the chosen few allowed to cave for research. A few will continue as assistants to the biologists. The NSS will morph into a purely science based organization consisting mostly of professionals. Cavers will stop turning in locations and a law will be passed making it an arrestable offense to keep a cave location secret.
Is the present moratorium really buying the scientists any time? I doubt it, if cavers were spreading the disease then it would have spotted all over North America by now.
I wonder when they'll start closing church steeples?


You are right. Their is no doubt about it. I won't argue the particulars, but overall, you are right.
The feds will keep us out. They are not to be trusted and they are not our friends.
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby wyandottecaver » Dec 14, 2009 7:39 pm

AR you always take my thoughts and push them over the top :)

I'll agree that WNS is going to run its course despite (actually BECAUSE of) what the USFWS does and that bats in those areas will be decimated. How long those populations will remain that way is anyone's guess. Many of those species will be listed and many more caves will be closed year round at first then seasonally later. But once WNS has reached its limit of spread (I'm throwing out 10 yrs for starters though most areas will be hit in 5 I think) then we will likely see pressure for access overcome pressure for containment. In 5-10 yrs I think we will see essentially the same system we see today except that most public caves will be closed in winter.

The real question is what will happen to caving organizations and education in this 10 yr period? I think you will see many of these organizations hit hard both by internal controversy and the virtual elimination of the next "crop" of new cavers. Those with large member bases who often dont cave much anyway (NSS, BCI, ACCA) will likely weather the storm. Cave Gaters for hire like some Conservancies, BCI, and ACCA will actually do pretty well.

The NSS already is a scientific based organization at the top, at least in action. Research, cave gating, Mission Statements, Strategic Visions, and other technical endevors are not at the heart of the interests of recreational cavers who have little sway on current policies and decisions. Membership is and will continue to shift away from recreational members because of this basic disconnect in goals.

I agree that the eagerness to share information will diminish at the individual caver level. As for laws about cave locations...I think it more likely that current policies against sharing locations may be made more strict.

The biggest change will be more cave! Legally locked out of many public caves year round for 5-10 years and locked out of many in winter after that, will inevitably lead to people looking in new places or looking at old places harder. That grim, blowing, wet dig you passed up before to go tour easy public caves will start looking a lot better.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby boogercaver71 » Dec 14, 2009 8:21 pm

I also think that the Feds will try and impose their will on private landowners like they are trying to do with wetlands
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby Joseph W. Dixon » Dec 15, 2009 6:26 pm

I totally agree with everyone!

The federal government shouldn't have any control over what happens on private land!

I live in Iowa and I have a sinkhole on my farm. My septic tank dumps right into the sinkhole, whenever one of my cows dies I toss it down the same sinkhole, and that sinkhole is also a great place to get rid of all my used motor oil, empty pesticide containers, and the rest of my garbage.

Would you believe the government knocked on my door and told me I couldn't do that anymore?

What right does the government have to tell me what I can't do on my property!
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby wyandottecaver » Dec 15, 2009 6:46 pm

I am assuming your post is tounge in cheek, but even if it wasn't..the rights for the government to affect private lands are rights we gave and continue to give them. Everytime a politician passes a law to regulate private land and gets re-elected we give them that right. Everytime they use imminent domain and get away with it they get that right. Divide and conquer. Most of us wont fight for our neighbor so the government only has to fight us 1 interest group or 1 person at a time....
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby tncaver » Dec 15, 2009 7:09 pm

Joseph W. Dixon wrote:I totally agree with everyone!

The federal government shouldn't have any control over what happens on private land!

I live in Iowa and I have a sinkhole on my farm. My septic tank dumps right into the sinkhole, whenever one of my cows dies I toss it down the same sinkhole, and that sinkhole is also a great place to get rid of all my used motor oil, empty pesticide containers, and the rest of my garbage.

Would you believe the government knocked on my door and told me I couldn't do that anymore?

What right does the government have to tell me what I can't do on my property!


Joseph,
You are a sick human. What you are saying is B.S. Of course things that can affect other humans and animals down stream
is regulated by government, but the issue here has never been about pollutants, as you are trying to depict. It is about what is right for bats and common sense. I have never proposed opening bat hibernaculum for caving. I have only suggested keeping open caves with no bats. It makes me sick that extremist conservationists like YOU, and especially the USFWS want to close ALL CAVES. That IS what YOU are trying to do. People on this forum need to think about common sense and what is right and what is wrong. What you just said is CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby Joseph W. Dixon » Dec 15, 2009 7:43 pm

At least my post hit a nerve like it was meant to, and yes it was tounge in cheek, but it was meant to illustrate a point. The reason the government regulates some things is because it is in the interest of the public good. If things like the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act didn't exist then my little sarcastic scenario would be commonplace. And I can say this with absolutely certainity, because I am a federal employee and I work with this stuff everyday (I do not work for the US F&WS though).

Now, as for the WNS situation, I do not advocate closing all caves as TncCaver so eloquently puts it, but I do take issue with this "anti-federal, US F&WS bad-guys" mentality that is so prevelant on this forum. Do you honestly think there is a huge government conspiracy to control all caves in the country? Because that is just plain stupid. In a recession with a war you really think funds are going to be appropriated to cover the cost of regulatory enforcement of caves on private land? The US F&WS is trying to come up with solutions to a problem, and admittedly some of those solutions are going to be a bitter pill to swallow, but until there is more concrete evidence those are the only options available.

tncaver wrote:I have only suggested keeping open caves with no bats.


Could you please enlighten me as to how you are going to come up with this list of magical caves that have no bats? Are you talking only about hiberncalua? What about summer roosts? Maternity colonies? Night roosts? Swarming sites?
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby tncaver » Dec 15, 2009 7:56 pm

Joseph W. Dixon wrote:Now, as for the WNS situation, I do not advocate closing all caves as TncCaver so eloquently puts it, but I do take issue with this "anti-federal, US F&WS bad-guys" mentality that is so prevelant on this forum. Do you honestly think there is a huge government conspiracy to control all caves in the country? Because that is just plain stupid. In a recession with a war you really think funds are going to be appropriated to cover the cost of regulatory enforcement of caves on private land? The US F&WS is trying to come up with solutions to a problem, and admittedly some of those solutions are going to be a bitter pill to swallow, but until there is more concrete evidence those are the only options available.

tncaver wrote:I have only suggested keeping open caves with no bats.


Could you please enlighten me as to how you are going to come up with this list of magical caves that have no bats? Are you talking only about hiberncalua? What about summer roosts? Maternity colonies? Night roosts? Swarming sites?


How about hiberncalum, summer roosts, and Maternity colonies. Most caves have none of these. That is my personal observation in my 50 years of caving. 50 YEARS. Can you say that?
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby wyandottecaver » Dec 15, 2009 8:15 pm

I hate to break it to you but those things are commonplace anyway. I said I assumed you were speaking tounge in cheek...only because of the forum. Drive down any rural road to see reality. My NSS News article about Hat Dome is great example. The ideal of government involvement is for the public good. The reality hasnt matched that ideal in a long time. Government works to enrich government and those political cronies that support it.

The individual people in the agencies are just doing the best they can (in general), but are held captive by a system controlled by the corrupt. I have and do work within the government. I assure you that while you may and should build relationships with individuals...Governments are inherently unstable, fickle, and interested in increasing their power, decreasing their accountability, and absorbing more of your money and rights to make their job easier. It doesn't matter if it is the Department of Defense, your local Neighborhood Association, or the NSS.

The FDA performs (in theory) a critical and much needed service to the public good which requires regulating private rights. When they screw up...which they have in several quite spectacular incidents....they rightly should be held to task and not hide behind a white sheet labled "public good".

In this case, IMHO the USFWS has screwed up. They have ignored the one method historically proven to slow or contain highly pathogenic disease in favor of research, study, praying for resistance, and the easy target of cave access. Unfortunately most of those dont have a good track record of saving populations in these types of circumstances....and the USFWS knows it.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby Joseph W. Dixon » Dec 15, 2009 8:27 pm

tncaver wrote:That is my personal observation in my 50 years of caving. 50 YEARS. Can you say that?

How is that even relevant?

I hate to break this you, but 50 years of caving does not qualify you as a bat biologist. In fact, it doesn't even come close.

And as for most caves not having summer roosts. I can't argue with what you claim to have observed in 50 years, but I can honestly tell you that I see bats in caves, in the summer, all the time. Ask any bat biologist and I'm sure they will tell you that all caves are a potential roost site for bats. The idea of a cave that has no bats is a pipe dream in my opinion (just because you don't see bats when you're in it, doesn't mean they aren't using it at some point).
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby tncaver » Dec 15, 2009 8:55 pm

Joseph W. Dixon wrote:
tncaver wrote:That is my personal observation in my 50 years of caving. 50 YEARS. Can you say that?
How is that even relevant? I hate to break this you, but 50 years of caving does not qualify you as a bat biologist. In fact, it doesn't even come close. And as for most caves not having summer roosts. I can't argue with what you claim to have observed in 50 years, but I can honestly tell you that I see bats in caves, in the summer, all the time. Ask any bat biologist and I'm sure they will tell you that all caves are a potential roost site for bats. The idea of a cave that has no bats is a pipe dream in my opinion (just because you don't see bats when you're in it, doesn't mean they aren't using it at some point).


Joseph, your years observing bats has probably been in bat hibernaculums. Fine. My observations have been in wild caves.
The hundreds of other caves that are not listed as bat hibermaculum. Cavers avoid bats anyway. You don't. Biologists have
handled bats with no gloves. Pictures prove that. Cavers avoid bats. Quite simply, most caves have no bats. Cavers have
always avoided bats in caves. Biologists handle bats because that is their job. They used to handle
bats with no gloves. I still wonder if they put on a new pair of gloves for EACH AND EVERY bat they handle. I bet not.
You guys are trying to blame us when the most likely cause is YOU, OR someone who intentionally planted the disease in the
same general area that West Nile Virus first appeared. Stop blaming cavers. It is B.S. I will battle you with facts and common
sense to the bitter end.
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby ArCaver » Dec 15, 2009 9:07 pm

Joseph W. Dixon wrote:
tncaver wrote:That is my personal observation in my 50 years of caving. 50 YEARS. Can you say that?

How is that even relevant?

I hate to break this you, but 50 years of caving does not qualify you as a bat biologist. In fact, it doesn't even come close.

And as for most caves not having summer roosts. I can't argue with what you claim to have observed in 50 years, but I can honestly tell you that I see bats in caves, in the summer, all the time. Ask any bat biologist and I'm sure they will tell you that all caves are a potential roost site for bats. The idea of a cave that has no bats is a pipe dream in my opinion (just because you don't see bats when you're in it, doesn't mean they aren't using it at some point).


Does one need to be a bat biologist to observe bats or signs of bats in a cave? How about just being an observant caver? Do you think every deer hunter needs a biologist to tell them when they've found a scrape or rub?
All caves are potential roosts, true enough, but so are all loose trim boards on every building, every attic with a torn vent and every shag bark hickory. Most bats that hibernate in caves use other roosting sites in the summer and if people are vectors of the disease then it should be showing up outside of the eastern United States. The point is, keeping cavers out of caves has probably done little to slow the spread of the disease and has potentially lost bat biologists a source of information to document new WNS sites. I also think cave locations will be harder to come by in the foreseeable future.
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Re: More Cave Closures and....

Postby MUD » Dec 15, 2009 9:23 pm

:waving: Somebody please tell me how the guv is going to enforce cave visitation on private lands. I personally know of quite a few caves the landowners don't even know about. :laughing: Cavin has gone underground! Get your buddies rounded up and start your own chapter of the SCSSCB (Secret Caving Society of Secret Caving Buddies)! :rofl:


:cavingrocks:
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