WNS in West VirginiaWNS has now been found in many more West Virginia caves, and it has left the upper Potomac Valley and entered the lower Potomac, Greenbier, and New River Valleys. To date, it has been found in six WV counties, including: Hellhole, Sites, Cave Mountain, Saltpeter, Hamilton, Trout, Short, and Sinnett in Pendleton County; Dyers Cave in Hardy County; Cassell, Carpenters, and Snedegars Caves in Pocahontas County; Norman Cave in Greenbrier County; Scott Hollow and Patton Caves in Monroe County; and Caldwell Cave in Mercer County.
USFWS issues $2 million RFP for WNS ResearchThe Service just announced that it will award up to $2 million in grants for high-priority research projects on WNS. The intent is to fund research within three broad topics: timing and dynamics of the fungus associated with WNS; persistence of the fungus on bats or in the environment; and susceptibility of bat species, including migrating and European bats, to the fungus.
Requests for proposals will be accepted until June 4 with grants awarded in the autumn.
Funding requests must be between $50,000 and $750,000, and projects must be completed by Sept. 30, 2012.
$1 million of the available funding comes from a special congressional appropriation for WNS work. Up to $1 million more comes from a Service fund called Preventing Extinction.
For further information see http://www.grants.gov, "Find Grant Opportunities" and search by Keyword: white-nose or FON: FWS-R5-ES-10-049 or CFDA: 15.657.
Snowshoe Sewage Treatment PlantThe March 4th Pocahontas Times reported that the Pocahontas County Public Service District Board has voted to move forward with a plan to build a $25 million sewage plant on Snowshoe Drive blocking a move to relocate the plant to the east side of the mountain (and to a site that would have served only Snowshoe and which would have discharged into the Shavers Fork watershed). The Board president said that the Shavers Fork site would do nothing to fix the sewage problems at the Inn at Snowshoe and within the Hawthorne Valley, and it would do nothing to further a regional waste-water solution. He also said the Shavers Fork site posed a greater environmental threat because a longer pressurized sewage line would be required. Several people attending the meeting suggested that more karst studies are required if the Snowshoe Drive site is used.