Bats In Mines Meeting Summary

August 27 & 28, 2010

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE), in conjunction with the Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) and the Michigan Bat Working Group hosted a Bats and Mines meeting on Friday, August 27, 2010 at Michigan Technological University, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. The meeting was for those who own, or have management responsibilities for properties with mines and abandoned sites. The intention of this meeting was to improve coordination of activities amongst the partners involved, share information about bats and emerging issues, and in an informal setting to discuss the many issues that have and will likely impact old mine sites and bats.

A major topic that was discussed is the growing concern over White nose Syndrome (WNS). This disease is new to North America, having first been discovered in 2006 in the Northeast but has had a dramatic impact on populations of bats across the region. While this disease if not currently in Michigan, it is known in 13 States and 2 Canadian Provinces. The implications of this disease for bats in the Great Lakes region are grave. The DNRE is drafting a statewide WNS response plan and your participation and on the ground expertise is needed in this effort. Other topics included addressing public safety concerns at old mine sites, the responsibilities of County Mine Inspectors, coordination of DNRE bats and mines surveys, bat gates as a technique for mitigating mine closures, funding, eco-tourism, regional bat conservation efforts, and public awareness efforts.

On Saturday August 28, 2010 there was a special Bat Day at Quincy Mine. This event featured live bat demonstrations, educational exhibits, bat-themed crafts for kids, and updates on White- nose Syndrome, a fungus affecting bats in the United States.

Bat Day at Quincy Mine featured bat experts Dr. Allen Kurta (Eastern Michigan University) and Rob Mies (Organization for Bat Conservation) who were on hand to autograph books and answer questions. UP bats and mines experts Bill Scullon (MDNRE) and Steve Smith gave presentations to educate people about how mines are surveyed and protected for bats. Exhibits were set up by the Organization for Bat Conservation, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Forest Service.

The 2010 Bats and Mines meetings were cosponsored by the Michigan Bat Working Group, a group composed of representatives of numerous State and Federal agencies (i.e. DNRE, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources and Conservation Service, Michigan Department of Public Health), OBC, Universities, bat researchers and professionals, and landowners.

List of Attendees:
  • Rob Mies, Organization for Bat Conservation
  • Dr. Allan Johnson, Michigan Tech University
  • Dr. Al Kurta, Eastern Michigan University
  • Bill Scullon, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Milt Gere, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Chris Hoving, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Dan O’ Brien, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Chris Mensing, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Rich Geboy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Dave Dillman, Ottawa National Forest
  • Steve Smith, S.M. Smith Company
  • Glenda Bierman, Quincy Mine Hoist Assocation
  • Richard Whiteman, Red Metal Minerals
  • Ralph Christensen, Gogebic County
  • Matt Portfleet, Adventure Mine
  • John Carlson, Marquette County
  • Yogi Carlson, Baraga County
  • Todd Jastremski, Dickinson
  • Jim Sweefing, Natural Resource Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture
  • Bruce Petersen, Natural Resource Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture
  • Murry Gillis, Houghton County

 

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