Bat Caper: FS sued for failure to release crucial bat documents
From the Center for Biological Diversity’s Press Release:
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a federal lawsuit against the northern region of the Forest Service today for withholding documents about cave closures and other measures in Idaho and Montana that could reduce risk of transmission of a disease that is wiping out bats across the eastern United States and is fast spreading west.
The malady, known as white-nose syndrome, has killed nearly 7 million bats, from Nova Scotia to Missouri, over the past six years. So far the agency’s northern region has failed to enact any regulations to stop cave visitors from spreading the disease to healthy bat populations.
“Forest Service officials have utterly failed to protect bats in the northern Rockies from white-nose syndrome by creating common-sense restrictions on human access to caves,” said Mollie Matteson, a bat specialist with the Center. “This lack of action is in sharp contrast to three other regions of the Service that have all closed caves to people. Adding insult to injury, the agency’s northern region is refusing to release documents related to its evaluation of the risk of the horrific illness spreading there.”