News.bytes News.bytes Extra, issue 234

Bat gate-building workshop

A bat gate-building workshop sponsored by BLM Bishop Field Office and Inyo National Forest drew 20 participants. Cheryl Seath of the Bishop Field Office and Lynn Oliver of the Inyo National Forest provided the mine sites for the training workshop, held April 24-28, 2006. The Bat Conservation International (BCI) and California Division of Mines and Conservation helped plan, fund and provided the instructor for this workshop.

Participants -- including staff from Inyo and Mt. Hood National Forests, Fort Irwin, BLM, and a private consultant -- learned how to build bat-compatible closures during the week-long workshop. The team practiced their skills by building a bat gate on an adit at the Aeroplane Mine and a cupola on a shaft at the Southern Belle Mine. These openings have been surveyed for bat habitat. The Townsend Big-eared bat is a California-BLM Sensitive Species that is present in these abandoned mine sites. These sites are easily accessible by two-wheel-drive vehicles and numerous motorcycle trails in the surrounding area creating a public safety issue. The Aeroplane Mine site is in the Tungsten hills just outside of the Bishop city limits. The Southern Belle mine is at the base of the White Mountains, near a housing development on lands managed by the BLM's Bishop Field Office.

Start of day students unloading equipment
Eight students unload equipment

Students welding rebar to steel plate on base of the cupola
Three students welding

Welding outer protection plate to L bracket and angle iron bars.
Another student welding

Welding angle iron on to upright iron bars
Three students weld angle iron on to upright iron bars

Bat Building Class of 2006, stand atop the cupola they just built.
Students stand atop the protective cupola they just built

The completed "bat-compatible" gate on the adit at the Aeroplane Mine - built by the bat gate building class of 2006:
The completed "bat-compatible" gate on the adit at the Aeroplane Mine

ADIT: A nearly horizontal passage in an underground mine, driven from the surface, by which a mine may be entered, ventilated, or dewatered. Source: Glossary of 3809 surface management terms, BLM national web site.

BLM California News.bytes, issue 234