The center's Mollie Matteson said action must be taken now to prevent spread of the disease into the Northern Rockies even though it's not yet been documented there. "We don’t know when white-nose syndrome might show up in the West, but it behooves all land managers to take all the steps they can to make sure it doesn’t happen," Matteson said. Volz reports caves and old mines have been closed in parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska an South Dakota to prevent spread of the disease to those areas, but nothing has been closed in the Northern Rockies.
Forest Service media coordinator Phil Sammon said the agency could not comment on pending litigation, but added several measures to stave disease spread are pending in the northern region. None of the measures have been approved yet.
Researchers and scientists now know that the disease hitchhiked from Europe into the U.S. Humans can't contract the disease, but they can spread it by spores attached to their clothes or shoes. It's estimated the disease has killed about 7 million bats in the eastern U.S. so far by waking bats from hibernation and forcing them to search for food in winter. They die when they find no food. (Read more)