View Full Version : Smokies Caves to be closed to the public

Tennessee Viking
04-04-2009, 20:45
Bat Disease Prompts Smokies To Close Caves

By News Channel 11 ([email protected])

Published: April 4, 2009

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Federal officials are asking people in
Tennessee to stay out of caves where bats hibernate. They’re
attempting to stop the spread of a disease that’s killed an
estimated half-million bats in the Northeast.

Bats are dying from what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
calls “white-nose syndrome,“ a fungus that causes bats to come
out of hibernation early, leading to starvation.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park has closed 17 caves and two mine complexes. Violators
could face a fine as high as $5,000, or six months in jail.

Officials with the Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee
say they will soon make a decision on closing caves on the forest’s
635,000 acres that surrounds the Smokies.
Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel,

04-04-2009, 21:03
Maybe I can get a federal grant to research the role of thru hikers in the spread of the white nose fungus!!!

Wise Old Owl
04-04-2009, 21:54
It's for the best, everytime we fool with caves the bats numbers suffer and science hasn't figured out completly what the problem is.

04-05-2009, 00:32
Where is one to habitate, then? :-?

04-05-2009, 02:14
I wonder how they are "closed". A few weeks ago in a little cave near Buggytop Cave, we inspected a bat that seemed to be perspiring heavily......I think it was condensation on its furry little body. He was still sound asleep for the winter.

04-05-2009, 07:08
They are "asking" people to stay out of caves and leave the bats alone on a Federal level. I hope everyone will cooperate.
The parks and NFS can tell people they can't go into the caves but it's up to each individual to not do it. It's not as if these state and federal agencies have the resources to put an armed guard at each cave entrance to keep people out. You'd think people would want to go along with this voluntarily, but maybe not. It does look as if people are helping spread this disease.

04-06-2009, 00:14
They are "asking" people to stay out of caves and leave the bats alone on a Federal level. I hope everyone will cooperate.

Tha vast majority of people will cooperate; I guarantee it. Almost no one knows where those caves are!!!

Tennessee Viking
04-06-2009, 00:19
I used to love going to Cedar Creek Cave near Allen Gap/Camp Creek TN when I went to camp as a kid. The cave was supposedly haunted by a grumpy old hermit named Old Man Joe. Unfortunately, the land changed ownership and stopped allowing people to visit it. And then the camp closed. Cool cave though.

04-20-2009, 10:36
Well, I can tell my wife to stay outta my man-cave now.