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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
 
Release Date: 06/28/11
Contacts: David Boyd, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 876-9008    

BLM grants permit for cave tours during NSS convention



SILT, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management has approved a special recreation permit for the National Speleological Society to lead tours to three BLM-managed caves in Garfield and Eagle counties during the group’s annual convention in Glenwood Springs July 16-24, 2011.

The decision limits the group to 10-12 visits per cave with no more than five people per visit. An approved leader for each tour will ensure the cave visitors follow the latest protocols for decontaminating gear to reduce the risk of spreading White-nose Syndrome fungus, which is deadly to bats, into Colorado. The caves have either no use or very limited use by bats.

“Providing convention attendees an outlet for caving under these strictly controlled conditions will help mitigate risk of introducing White-nose Syndrome and encourage any visitation to these areas to occur under the oversight of an experienced local guide,” said BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Steve Bennett.

The NSS submitted an application for the organized tours of the three caves earlier this year. Caves managed by BLM Colorado are currently open to public use, but organized tours require a special recreation permit. The Colorado River Valley Field Office is considering targeted public closures of some caves and expects to issue a decision later this month.

Additional information is available at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/crvfo.html, at the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office on 2300 River Frontage Road in Silt, or by calling (970) 876-9000.

White-nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that has killed more than a million bats across the northeast and mid-Atlantic states during the past four years. The fungus has not been discovered in Colorado, but experts fear its introduction here could have similar consequences.  Additional information about White-nose Syndrome is available at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/recreation/White_nose_Syndrome.html



The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Last updated: 10-03-2011