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Postby PYoungbaer » May 11, 2011 3:27 pm

Extremeophile wrote:The USFWS are assuming that people may spread the disease - without proof. It's a hypothesis that has now been mistakenly taken as fact by many land managers, the media, etc.

Making the argument that people can not possibly spread the disease is another hypothesis that has also not been proven. I certainly hope this is correct, but unfortunately the issue hasn't been resolved. An opinion that people don't spread the disease, without evidence, doesn't cancel an opinion that people do spread the disease. What is needed is more research, but when people become convinced that their opinion is factual, then they start to see research as a waste of time and money. We need more objectivity from those on both sides of the fence and a willingness to seek the "truth".

Well said. I know many people don't and can't read all the WNS information that is available, but I would recommend that people take the time to read the NSS's formal comments on the draft WNS national plan.,%20Dec.%2026,%202010.pdf
Of many points we raised, one in particular was a theme that runs through the comments: what is the decision-making process for deciding whether or not a plan action is working? The plan lacks specific goals and objectives, and has no evaluation process for determining whether or not a goal has been achieved. Without hard research to guide decision-making, we will be left in a stew of speculation by everyone.

That research takes money, and we've been raising it and advocating for it. Maybe we'll get enough to answer some of these questions, and maybe not. But not to try means we must admit that we're OK with speculation. Clearly, many people are not, so let's do the science and make informed decisions. Let's be at the table where those decisions will be made. Let's continue to insist that those decisions be made based on the science we've helped fund. Let's continue to insist that the plan has benchmarks for determining if something is working or not, not the open-ended state of affairs we have today.

Cavemud believes nature will take its course. Others believe that, too; I've even heard some of the bat researchers say that in their darker hours. But they don't give up trying to do something. And without science to inform them that some of the hypotheses out there about geographic or species or epidemiological limitations are, in fact, true, or, as Cavemud believes, the efforts are, in fact, not working, then all of that boils down, once again, to speculation. And that won't change management policies. Answers are needed, not more speculation.

Here's what I have to say on "The NSS and WNS,"

Let's do what we are, in fact, are about: studying, exploring, and conserving caves and all their natural resources. Let's continue to lead with our expertise - demonstrating why our opinions are sound.
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Postby wyandottecaver » May 11, 2011 5:53 pm


The problem with research, is there is no defined question we are trying to answer that will matter. It's just pissin money down a hole. If the govt wants to, fine. the NSS should find better uses for ours.

Human transmission? the USFWS is too politically invested now, even if we find it doesn't happen they won't back off..the "possibility" will be the excuse.

A cure? really? Unlikely to exist, even more unlikely to be affordable, then you gotta get the bats and the cure together.

Lifecycle or environmental limits of WNS? WNS will answer that itself in time, andd what good does that do us anyway?

The one and only viable research direction I see is trying to hybridize European and American species...and who wants to open that pandora's box?

I still maintain that all available data leads to the same conclusion: NO management or research activity based on human actions can or will affect the end result of WNS. *maybe* we could slow it. If the last WNS bat dies in 10 yrs or 15 what does it matter really?
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Postby BrianC » May 11, 2011 7:19 pm

Ernie Coffman wrote:Well, Steve, you've come into the national limelight, once again, and you see how the folks west of the Oregon border feel about your thoughts. :clap: In all of these thoughts and comments, I believe wyandottecaver hit it more on the head, so that all of us can understand his thoughts. :waving: That's not to say that anyone else, who has written, is wrong or anything like that.

As for this comment, "And decontamination of gear? An associate who is a doctor tells me that it wont work, as it will not achieve surgical sterility. Its a placebo.
that is probably very true! But, you're indicating that you're accepting the knowledge of one person then; and, in the scientific world--You are one yourself, right? A scientist, that is--would you accept all hypothesis to be fact, just from one individual. :yikes:

As for this comment,
If you are a conservation-minded caver, and from a WNS infected will not attend that convention. And to the NSS about splitting the convention, one inside the infected area and one outside... or just calling off the one in Colorado?? Dont take a chance...
You and I...and all the rest of the folks in the NSS, I would believe, know that isn't a strong possibility. First of all, the convention has been worked on for several years and financially, a disaster for those folks putting it on. You know that for sure! :doh: As for "splitting the convention, one inside the infected area and one outside," do you know what headaches that could and would cause...even if there were two areas that would take on the problem? It's difficult enough, now, getting grottos and regions to step up to the plate, in putting on a convention. Most of those individuals have given up caving for a year or more, because of the amount of business, planning, and labor it takes to put on such an event. Maybe we should go back to conventions in hotels, etc. away from any caving areas, to implement your thoughts. That might be the only solution...but, today's cavers probably wouldn't want to attend those kinds of conventions...unfortunately! Or, in the case of WNS, fortunately! It might accomplish what you were suggesting. :shrug:

:cave softly:


We are not really even on the fence, kinda falling of one side. :shrug:
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