Regional
10:40 am
Fri July 16, 2010

Bat Cave Closure Under Review

New Mexico – U.S. Forest Service regional offices in the West are considering whether to close bat caves to help prevent the spread of a disease that is fatal to the mammals.

Officials with the agency's Rocky Mountain and Southwest region offices say they have been discussing the matter with other federal and state agencies.

Rocky Mountain region spokesman Dave Steinke says the office in Denver hopes to have a decision on the bat caves within a couple of weeks.

The Rocky Mountain regional office consists of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and most of Wyoming. The Southwest Region includes New Mexico and Arizona.

More than a million hibernating bats have died since white-nose syndrome was first documented in upstate New York in 2006.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.