Protecting Williams Canyon Caves from White Nose Syndrome

By Richard Rhinehart ~ March 13th, 2009. Filed under: NSS BOG Meeting.

This April’s National Speleological Society Board of Governors meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado could bring dozens of cavers from eastern states to the caves of Williams Canyon. In many eastern states, cavers are currently refraining from entering or visiting caves in an attempt to combat the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a fatal fungus that infects hibernating bats and kills them. In some states, such as Virginia and New York, a moratorium has been placed on any caving by organized cavers.

Scientists and biologists studying the syndrome are currently at a loss to explain its spread to caves in nine eastern states since its first detection in New York in February 2006. One possible conduit for its spread is through unknowing cavers.

Cavers visiting Colorado from eastern states and intending to enter the caves should first undertake the vigorous decontamination procedure for all of their caving gear as described by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The NSS maintains an informational page dedicated to providing news and information about the syndrome.

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