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Forest Service mulls opening bat caves
The Forest Service may decide to open caves and abandoned mines after closing them in an effort to halt a deadly fungal outbreak that affects bats. DNR photo

Forest Service mulls opening bat caves

Apr 17, 2012 - The Associated Press

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- The U.S. Forest Service is considering lifting a two-year closure of caves and abandoned mines in Colorado and several other states after imposing it in an effort to halt a deadly fungal outbreak that affects bats.

The region includes Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska.

In 2010, the Forest Service closed most access to caves and abandoned mines in the region to prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome, which killed millions of bats in the East.

The ban was imposed out of concern that cavers might spread the disease.

Experts say they now know more about the disease and the closures may no longer be needed in some areas.

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