USFS warns of mine vandalism, wildlife harm

Vandalism of Gated Mines Leads to Safety, Resource Concerns (press release)

mineclosure1Bishop, Calif., March 3, 2014 – Recent vandalism of gated mines on the Inyo National Forest have led to concerns for safety for visitors, can expose bats to pathogens and disease, and add additional costs of re-gating the mines.

The forest is working to block abandoned mines that pose a safety hazard to the visiting public. Among the possible multiple hazards include open shafts, unstable rock and decayed support, deadly gases and lack of mineclosure2oxygen, explosives and toxic chemicals, and horizontal and vertical openings. Please visit Stay Out, Stay Alive for more information about safety around abandoned mines.

Additionally, many abandoned mines protect and preserve important habitat for wildlife, especially bats.

White-nose syndrome is a fungal disease killing bats in North America. The disease is spread among bats, but may also be spread by people who carry the fungus to un-infected areas. While white-nose bat syndrome has yet to be detected in western states, it has spread rapidly in the last several years, killing an estimated five million bats. By avoiding abandoned mines, these areas can provide a refuge for bats.

“We understand that old mines incite curiosity and the urge to explore,” said Margaret Wood, District Ranger for the White Mountain and Mount Whitney Districts. “However, these mines are gated to protect you and key habitat. Please respect the closures.”



7 Responses to USFS warns of mine vandalism, wildlife harm

  1. Trouble March 4, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    Here we go again, using public safety fears to not only close all the people off our public lands, but also using these safety fears to justify tearing down cabins people have been enjoying for over a hundred years. Jerks!

    • Desert Tortoise March 4, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Yep, it’s all about you. Nothing in this world is larger or more valuable than what you want at any given moment.

      • Trouble March 5, 2014 at 6:39 am #

        Wow DT, I guess our date isn’t going to well.

    • Mongo The Idiot March 5, 2014 at 9:24 am #

      I am a complete idiot yet not dumb enough to believe that bats need man made protection. I am careless and stupid yet not careless or stupid enough to go very far into a mine.

      Why do we protect a man made mine shaft for bats while we wipe the valley floor clean for energy?

      Are we stupid, or just making rules up that suit us as we go?

      • Ken Warner March 5, 2014 at 11:26 am #

        “…while we wipe the valley floor clean for energy?”

        I did not know that.

        “Are we stupid, or just making rules up that suit us as we go?”

        I’d go for both…

  2. Ken Warner March 4, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    I think the best way to protect wildlife and their habitat is to keep visitors in SoCal.

  3. Joe Blow March 6, 2014 at 8:03 am #

    When do you think we will have to wear helmets on icy days? Only be able to ride bicycles in padded arenas? Wear special gloves so we don’t smash our finger in a door?
    And has anyone given any thought,to how we will be able to function when we are all wrapped in bubble wrap before we leave our house?


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