WNS Liaison Report
to the
NSS President and BOG

March 15, 2010


A tremendous amount has occurred on the WNS front since the October 1 report.  So far this winter, WNS has spread to two new states, Tennessee and Maryland, and a host of new sites in previously affected states.  The USFWS issued a Structured Decision Making document intended to help guide federal and state agency mangers with WNS strategies.  The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned several federal agencies to close all caves in the lower 48 states, expand the definition of “take” under the Endangered Species Act, and call for federally listing two new bat species.  Many more cavers are engaged with state and federal agencies on WNS research and cave access issues within their states.  The media and public continue to hear the message that cavers are to blame.  We strove to address this perception on several fronts over the past months.





WNS is going to be with us for the foreseeable future. Our challenge will be to remain engaged and playing a significant and contributory role, while fulfilling the rest of the broader NSS mission.  I am extremely grateful for the moral and real support given by quite a few people, including especially Gordon Birkhimer, Alex Sproul, Mike Warner, Cheryl Jones, Jennifer Foote, Carol Zokaites,  “Theresa,” Don McFarlane, and Eliah Kagan – all directly involved in facets of the Liaison Committee’s work. Thanks also to many other individuals who have provided assistance, input, constructive criticism, suggestions, donations, and most importantly, picked up the ball and ran with it lobbying Congress, contacting state and federal officials, writing the CBD, engaging reporters, speaking to the public about caving and WNS, and helping directly with field work.

Peter Youngbaer, NSS 16161
WNS Liaison
3606 E. Hill Road
Plainfield, VT 05667-9547
802-272-3802 (cell)