NSS White Nose Syndrome Policy

White Nose Bat 📷 Derik Holtmann


This Policy was approved by the Board of Governors, on April 17, 2010
It replaces the former statement issued on April 8, 2009

The NSS recognizes the serious nature of white-nose syndrome (WNS) and
its devastating effect on bat populations in the eastern United States. The
Society is committed to advancing scientific knowledge of WNS, helping to
determine its cause, and limiting its impact on cave organisms. At the same
time, the NSS will promote responsible study, management, and access to
cave resources based on demonstrated risks and the latest available data.
The NSS has a responsibility to its current members and cavers of tomorrow
to do what it can to ensure that any restrictions on cave access are based on
demonstrated threats, sound evidence, and recognition that risks are site- and
strategy-specific.

The NSS has been a leader in contributing expertise and considerable
resources – both financial and human – to WNS investigations, and believes
it is important to continue to do so. Through its appointed NSS WNS
Liaison, it is essential that the Society continues to work closely with federal
and state agencies, conservation organizations, and legislators; participate in
WNS symposia, conferences, meetings, and strategy sessions; and
effectively represent the Society and its members with these groups and the
media. The NSS will strive to influence cave use policies and research
priorities, and encourage the dissemination of scientific information.

The NSS places a priority on educating its members and the public about
WNS, and encourages members and grottos to be effective, proactive
partners in this effort. To support this work, the NSS will remain an
important source of up-to-date WNS information and educational materials.

The Society regards knowledgeable cavers as natural partners in the
collaboration necessary to address WNS, and the best advocates for the
conservation of caves and all cave resources, including bats. Therefore, the
Society believes that protecting the strength, influence, and vitality of the
NSS and its internal organizations is critical to protecting caves and their
resources, now and in the future.

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The National Speleological Society is a membership organization dedicated to the protection, exploration, and scientific understanding of caves.

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