2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

This is a forum intended only for discussion of White Nose Syndrome.

Moderator: Moderators

2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

Postby wyandottecaver » Feb 18, 2009 8:36 pm

This is an admitted rant. I think it is justified.

I posted a shorter version in the WNS thread but I wanted to also post in this forum that may be more closely monitored by the BOG and others involved in Convention 2009.

I am quite frankly utterly apalled that despite attracting visitors from around the country and from abroad I could find not a single mention of WNS or related issues...Anywhere on the Convention/ICS pages.

In fact, what I did find was the Trips Map that outlined a virtual tour of doom for bats if humans end up being a viable means of transport. A field camp in Albany and Schoharie counties New York....are you insane? other field camps at Mammoth Cave KY, TN, and VA....lets hope any NE cavers or cavers who vvisit the NE are wealthy enough to purchase all new gear....Of course why would they since there is also no mention of WNS, Decon, or any related concern....ANYWHERE! At least the "eastern segment" of the cross country tour goes in reverse visiting the most likely infected sites last...unless of course they might have picked up WNS spores at Convention then are conveniently bused to every major karst region in the east except TAG.

Hello? Does anyone think this is a good idea?

WNS obviously has a mechanisim for surviving outside caves in summertime temperatures. Maybe it requires a bat. Maybe not. But why would we essentially encourage people to visit infected areas and/or encourage them to visit multiple sites across the country for any reason, let alone do that AND TELL THEM NOTHING ABOUT WNS?


Image
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
wyandottecaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana
  

Re: 2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

Postby NZcaver » Feb 19, 2009 2:35 am

FYI - I asked the northeast field camp coordinator about this tonight. Apparently an email was sent out to all coordinators of pre and post ICS excursions and field camps detailing WNS precautions and recommended decontamination procedures. This includes encouraging cavers to bring 2 sets of caving clothing (if possible), and encouraging coordinators to ensure laundry facilities are readily available. The focus on the northeast field camp is cave management rather than just caving. Obviously they do plan to make some caving trips, but this will be carefully orchestrated.

I agree it would be prudent to have links to WNS information on the ICS website, and perhaps this is already on their to-do list. But at least the camp coordinators should already be wise to the situation. This is what I was told.
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6342
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Re: 2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

Postby Squirrel Girl » Feb 19, 2009 5:30 am

George Veni sent this yesterday. I went to bed early, so I'm not getting to it until today:

Thank you for your mentioning this. And you are right, this is a significant issue and it needs to be addressed in the information on the 15th International Congress of Speleology (ICS). The ICS Organizing Committee has been busy lately taking care several things with early deadlines, but recently got to work on this crucial issue. Just this morning a message was sent to all of the trip leaders with information and protocols about WNS so we don’t add to the problem. Information is now being prepared for the website, and which will also be released via the Congress e-mail list. I don’t have a date on when it will be up, but am guessing within about a week. Keep in mind that when the US won the bid to host the 15th ICS and planned most of the trips, WNS did not exist. The cavers hosting trips in the northeast, where WNS is prevalent, are highly involved with its study and efforts at prevention. They will do all they can to prevent its spread.

George Veni
Chairman, 15th International Congress of Speleology
Barbara Anne am Ende

"Weird people are my people."
User avatar
Squirrel Girl
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 5:34 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM
NSS #: 15789
  

Re: 2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

Postby wyandottecaver » Feb 19, 2009 6:24 pm

Making trip leaders aware of the situation and posting info/links on the ICS/Convention pages are a good start. It still seems unwise to encourage folks to visit multiple karst areas across the country (in direct violation of what the USFWS and other WNS experts recommend) but I suppose certain mitigation measures could be used, especially removing any Eastern "wild" caves from the agenda.

The field camp in NY should be cancelled. Period. Quite frankly, as the coordinator of the NSS soil sampling project, Mike especially should know better. There is absolutely no justification for holding an event like that at "ground zero" for WNS. Bringing people from across the country and possibly even internationally to those counties in NY and entering caves is just not defensible. I see a NM trip has already been cancelled. There's the precedent...just say no to a NY field camp!
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
wyandottecaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana
  

Re: 2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Mar 5, 2009 12:47 pm

I apologize if this has already been posted somewhere, but the ICS website now has very prominent WNS information on its home page. :banana_yay:
Andy Armstrong
American Carbide Council
User avatar
Anonymous_Coward
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 893
Joined: Feb 3, 2006 1:40 pm
Location: Inside the Beehive
NSS #: 45993RL FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Paha Sapa Grotto
  

Re: 2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

Postby cavergirl » Mar 5, 2009 2:43 pm

Actually I posted that letter from George Veni and link to website on the original WNS thread on Feb 25. That was when the various threads were getting so entangled it was hard th follow anymore. it must have gotten buried but the whole letter is still there.
cavergirl
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Feb 3, 2009 6:06 pm
Location: TN
Name: Chrys
NSS #: 45071
Primary Grotto Affiliation: nashville grotto
  

Re: 2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Mar 5, 2009 3:06 pm

Thanks. I saw the letter when you posted it but didn't see the highlighted WNS info on the website until now. Thanks for bringing it to their attention.
Andy Armstrong
American Carbide Council
User avatar
Anonymous_Coward
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 893
Joined: Feb 3, 2006 1:40 pm
Location: Inside the Beehive
NSS #: 45993RL FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Paha Sapa Grotto
  

Re: 2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

Postby PYoungbaer » Mar 5, 2009 10:34 pm

A meeting/forum on White Nose Syndrome is in the works for the ICS/NSS Convention. It is too late for session papers/abstracts to be submitted, but the urgency created by late-breaking events begs for such a meeting.

Particulars are just beginning to be worked out with the Board of Governors. I've been asked to chair the session. I'd very much like to hear ideas on panelists, presentations, interactiveness, themes, etc. a four-hour time slot has been reserved.

Some suggestions already include some sort of background presentation to orient any of the non-US (or US) folks with little or no familiarity with WNS, just to get folks somewhat on the same page. Then perhaps two or more panels each dedicated to a part of the WNS picture (e.g. research, management, what next, etc. - add yours, please). Panelists could include some of the researchers, USFWS and/or state personnel involved, cavers from the northeast, cave conservancy representatives, European WNS contacts, etc. Some have suggested weighting the panelists for a focus on the northeast experience; others have proposed a broader perspective. The northeast has lived with this for a couple of years - some are just being introduced - some are still outside and wondering what they might to to prepare.

Anyway, I only mention these ideas to get the ball rolling. Please suggest away. We'll need to make the general outline and submit it in about a month, so time is of the essence. I won't necessary reply to all suggestions, perhaps just to clarify. I'd rather see what ideas people have and whether or not that's what others would also like to see or alternatives.

This is for you and our world neighbors. Thank you in advance.

Peter Youngbaer
NSS 16161
WNS Liaison
PYoungbaer
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1361
Joined: Apr 30, 2008 4:04 pm
Location: Plainfield, VT
NSS #: 16161 CM FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Vermont Cavers Association
  

Re: 2009 NSS/ICS Convention and WNS

Postby wyandottecaver » Mar 6, 2009 8:02 pm

I'd recommend the obvious...Al Hicks, Dr. Blehert, SCCI, etc. I definately think a WNS 101 would be in order, then research based (ICS focused, the nuts and bolts) and recreational caving based ( NSS focused, decon policies state responses precautions) panels. I would keep it to 2-3 broad panels or you'll dilute the topic too much.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
wyandottecaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana
  


Return to White Nose Syndrome (WNS)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users