March 27, 2009, Kingston Daily Freeman: As bats die, feds ask people to avoid caves

As bats die, feds ask people to avoid caves

Friday, March 27, 2009 3:06 AM EDT

ALBANY (AP) — Citing an “unprecedented” crisis of bats dying off from West Virginia to New England, federal officials on Thursday asked for people to stay out of thousands of caves in states struck by “white-nose syndrome.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the request to guard against the possibility that people are unwittingly spreading the mysterious affliction when they explore multiple caves. There is no evidence that white-nose syndrome, which has struck particularly hard in Ulster County, including in caves in Rosendale, is a threat to people.

Named for the sugary smudges of fungus on the noses and wings of hibernating bats, white-nose bats appear to run through their winter fat stores before spring. It was confirmed in eight states this winter from New Hampshire to West Virginia and there is evidence it may have spread to Virginia, according to wildlife service spokeswoman Diana Weaver.

Some death-count estimates run as high as 500,000 bats. Researchers worry about a mass die-off of bats, which help control the populations of insects that can damage wheat, apples and dozens of other crops.

The advisory seeking a voluntary caving moratorium also would cover states adjacent to affected states — a swath of the nation stretching from Maine down to North Carolina and west to Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, Weaver said.

Recreational cavers, who have enthusiastically supported past white-nose control efforts, seemed bewildered by the breadth of the request. Peter Youngbaer, white-nose syndrome liaison for the National Speleological Society, said the advisory covers tens of thousands of caves and would affect everything from organized caving events to equipment sales.

“The ramifications are mind boggling, and I guess we’re all just trying figure out what to do,” said Youngbaer, who is based in Vermont.

“I think to great extent it will be followed, but there will be a lot of discussion and tweaking about it,” he said.

Researchers suspect a fungus that thrives in cold, moist caves causes white nose and that it is spread from bat to bat. But the syndrome has spread more than 400 miles from the cluster of caves near Albany where it was first observed two winters ago.

Researchers are concerned that humans could be helping the spread, perhaps through jackets or boots worn in an infected cave. Weaver noted that some of the affected caves are popular with cavers.

Federal officials also ask that cavers nationwide refrain from using gear that has been used in states struck by white nose or the adjacent states. Officials ask that everyone avoid caves and mines during the winter hibernation season so bats will not be disturbed.

On the Net:—nose.html.

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March 18, 3009: Eco Politics Daily, NYLCV: Tensions Run High At NYRI Hearings

Tensions Run High At NYRI Hearings

Submitted by Dan Hendrick on Wed, 2009-03-18 17:49.

The big guns were out in full force earlier this week for the Public Service Commission’s evidentiary hearings about the proposed New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI), a high-voltage transmission line that would run 190 miles between Marcy and Orange County.

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March 20, 2009: Fly Rod & Reel: Abel/Prosek new Super 3N Rainbow Trout Reel will benefit Theodore Gordon Flyfishers

Abel/Prosek new Super 3N Rainbow Trout Reel will benefit Theodore Gordon Flyfishers.

New Prosek Reel

A limited edition Abel Super 3N large arbor fly reel – in a rainbow trout design inspired by wildlife artist James Prosek – will benefit the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, a New York-based conservation organization announced Don R. Swanson, president of the tackle manufacturer.
    One hundred of the individually colored and anodized reels will be produced.  Reels will be accompanied by a signed and numbered 11×14-inch gicleè print of a rainbow trout by Prosek.  The print number will correspond to the reel number.
    Reel numbers one and two together with corresponding gicleè prints and the original rainbow trout watercolor by Prosek are being donated to the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers by Abel and the artist.
    The new reel size from Abel for 2009 was designed with a tall frame and narrow spool for maximum retrieval rate.  At 4.7 ounces, the Super 3N or Narrow reel with a 1.50-inch hub has been precision machined for 3- and 4-weight flylines. 
    According to Swanson, the Abel Super 3N is “the perfect tool for spring creeks and technical meadow streams . . . it balances with virtually every split bamboo or high tech graphite rod currently in production as well as antique rods.” 
    Funds derived from the Abel reel and accompanying Prosek prints will be used by the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers “to carry out a large-scale stream conservation project on the famed Beaverkill in New York and some of its spawning tributaries: TGF Beaverkill Restoration,” according to TGF president Bert Darrow.  
    “Continuing our history of protecting cold water fisheries through litigation, oversight and labor, TGF is undertaking our largest hands-on initiative with this multi-year, multi-phase action to improve spawning access and habitat for both native and wild trout. It is a great challenge,” Darrow said. 
    Theodore Gordon Flyfishers is a not-for-profit angling organization, formed in 1963 by fly-fishing legends including Lee Wulff, Ernest Schwiebert and Arnold Gingrich. TGF was founded on American fly-fishing traditions to promote stream and river protection and self-sustainable salmonid populations through conservation, environmental oversight, activism, catch-and-release practices and education, added Darrow.
    The American-made Abel Super 3N is machined from cold finished 6061-T aircraft quality aluminum.  Reels are then precision machined (not die cast) on C.N.C. lathes and mills.
    Prosek, who has authored and/or illustrated Trout an Illustrated History, Trout of the World, Joe and Me, Fly-Fishing the 41st Parallel, Early Love and Brook Trout a children’s book, A Good Day’s Fishing, and his most recent children’s book, Bird, Butterfly, Eel has been called the James Audubon of fish.
    His rainbow trout gicleè print is an individually produced high resolution reproduction.      The collectors’ edition rainbow Super #3N reel to benefit the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers is priced at $750.  The reels are available at Authorized Abel Dealers. 
For information or sales, phone 866 511 744, e-mail or visit 

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