USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

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USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby PYoungbaer » Feb 19, 2012 5:35 pm

On January 27, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service held the first of a series of WNS webinars. This one was targeted specifically to state and federal agency biologists and land managers as a training seminar. We asked for both the NSS and cave conservancies to be able to participate, but were declined. Instead, they pledged to put as much up on line as possible, and also to include a broader audience in the next two: for educators and communicators late winter or early spring; and for the general public later spring, once this season's bat survey figures are in.

In the meantime, USFWS removed agency-specific information as well as proprietary scientific information (unpublished and not yet peer reviewed), but posted the rest of the presentations. Here is the link:

http://nctc.fws.gov/CSP/Resources/white ... /home.html

Click on the link and follow the link to the Archive of past White-Nose Syndrome webinars. USFWS says that "all of the content on the Archive can be shared with the public, so please feel free to forward this link to anyone that is interested."

While I've personally only viewed two of them to date, I did note that the last one, which deals with decon protocols, does include the new "hot water" standard, replacing the former "boiling water" standard. Specifically, immersing gear in water >50 degrees Celsius (122F) for at least 15 minutes will kill the fungus.

We are still waiting for the new formal national WNS decon protocol to be posted, but clearly USFWS is already publicizing and training on this standard. I think this is an important development, as it is both a non-chemical alternative, safer for the environment and for humans to handle, and easier to accomplish than boiling water.
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby Scott McCrea » Feb 19, 2012 9:29 pm

A soapless cycle in the dishwasher will certainly maintain that temp. Just remove all the mud/dirt first. I hose/pressure wash my gear in the driveway and then a dishwasher cycle. Works great. No problems so far. I doubt the average washing machine will maintain a temp high enough for 15 min.
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby NZcaver » Feb 20, 2012 12:31 am

PYoungbaer wrote:While I've personally only viewed two of them to date, I did note that the last one, which deals with decon protocols, does include the new "hot water" standard, replacing the former "boiling water" standard. Specifically, immersing gear in water >50 degrees Celsius (122F) for at least 15 minutes will kill the fungus.

We are still waiting for the new formal national WNS decon protocol to be posted, but clearly USFWS is already publicizing and training on this standard. I think this is an important development, as it is both a non-chemical alternative, safer for the environment and for humans to handle, and easier to accomplish than boiling water.

Excellent! :clap: This seems much more practical than previous methods for killing the fungus which humans aren't spreading anyway.
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby Crockett » Feb 20, 2012 9:21 am

Scott McCrea wrote:A soapless cycle in the dishwasher will certainly maintain that temp. Just remove all the mud/dirt first. I hose/pressure wash my gear in the driveway and then a dishwasher cycle. Works great. No problems so far. I doubt the average washing machine will maintain a temp high enough for 15 min.


Does any cycle on a any dishwasher immerse or is it all spray? I suppose a waterproof camera in the dishwasher will need some light.
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby Scott McCrea » Feb 20, 2012 9:34 am

I have never heard of a dishwasher that immerses. But, as long as the gear is wet and the water is consistently over required temp, results should be the same. The logistics of immersing caving gear in water that hot would be nearly as much of a pain as using chemicals. Though a witch's cauldron and a row boat paddle over a open fire might work.
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby Scott McCrea » Feb 20, 2012 5:26 pm

Data?!? Why should I experiment and provide data? The USFWS doesn't use data, why should we?
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby caverdan » Feb 20, 2012 6:14 pm

They might not out East......butt they are starting to out west. They are putting loggers in all kinds of caves and mines to see if the climates will support the fungus and possibly reopen the caves on this data.

Maybe I should start a new thread and post my test.... and double dog dare people to try it for themselves...... and post their results from there very own washing machine. I used a cheap digital inside/outside thermometer and put the outside probe in the water. :yikes: :yikes: :yikes:
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby NZcaver » Feb 20, 2012 6:28 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:Data?!? Why should I experiment and provide data? The USFWS doesn't use data, why should we?

Because our quest for data, hard evidence, and sound decision making is what separates us from them.

Kudos to Dan and his indoor/outdoor thermometer.
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby Pippin » Feb 21, 2012 2:47 pm

Another question related to Peter's original post: why isn't the NSS/cave conservancies allowed to participate in these webinars? We're official partners with FWS on the WNS, aren't we? We are some of the only people who visit many caves on the front lines of WNS. It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that we aren't allowed to participate in webinars to make sure we have all of the information we need to help with WNS issues.
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby wyandottecaver » Feb 21, 2012 5:41 pm

remember,

the webinars we cant attend are the ones training land managers and state biologists. They want to make sure those people are properly trained to the USFWS dogma. Last thing they need is some snippity guy who understands statistics and biology asking awkward questions in front of the worshippers.
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby John Lovaas » Feb 21, 2012 8:28 pm

If I can play devil's advocate for a second(and only a second), I could understand where they'd want to redact specific cave locations, or locations of sensitive populations of critters.

Second's up.

"...USFWS removed agency-specific information..."

Unless those agencies are actually private contractors, I see no defensible reason to redact anything discussed, outside of cave locations and population locations. These agencies' customers paid for the work they did- now why, exactly, can they not have the opportunity to hear what they paid for?

"...as well as proprietary scientific information (unpublished and not yet peer reviewed)..."

Really? Last time I checked, the bulk of this country's WNS management is based(at best) on largely unpublished and non-peer reviewed data, and, depending on the state you live in, a healthy amount of blind speculation, disinformation, and opinion is mixed in as well. We are mercilessly flogged with unpublished and non-peer reviewed WNS information on a regular basis.

And I sure do hope that a public official didn't actually use the word "proprietary" when referring to publicly funded research conducted by public agencies. If you want to start a corporation and conduct research, go ahead and whip out the "P" word all you want. If you work for a public agency, and conduct research with public funds, the only thing proprietary about your entire career is your personnel records.

Sigh. Time for a FOIA request.
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Re: USFWS WNS Webinar Presentations Now On Line

Postby NZcaver » Feb 22, 2012 3:09 pm

caverdan wrote:Maybe I should start a new thread and post my test.... and double dog dare people to try it for themselves...... and post their results from there very own washing machine. I used a cheap digital inside/outside thermometer and put the outside probe in the water.

See new 60C/122F Hot Water Decon Tests topic.
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