Draft National WNS Plan Available for Comment

October 27, 2010

White-nose syndrome has killed more than a million bats in the Northeast and has spread to 11 or more states in less than four years since its discovery near Albany, N.Y. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with other federal and state agencies, and tribal governments, is proposing a coordinated national management plan to address this critical environmental issue. The proposed plan is available for review and comment beginning October 28, 2010.

The proposed plan, a joint federal-state effort, provides a framework for WNS investigation and response. A subsequent implementation plan will identify specific actions, the entities responsible for implementation of each action, and estimated costs.
“More than 50 agencies, organizations and individuals are working in concert on the white-nose syndrome response,” said WNS National Coordinator Jeremy Coleman, Ph.D., of the Service. “The national management plan will help guide our use of limited resources wisely and efficiently in addressing this urgent threat to bats and to our environment.”

The Service will accept public comments on the proposed plan through December 26, 2010 to gather additional scientific and commercial information for consideration before the plan becomes final.

To review the draft plan, visit this page:

http://www.fws.gov/whitenosesyndrome/

You may submit comments by e-mail to WhiteNoseBats@fws.gov, by mail to WNS National Coordinator, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY 13045-9348, or by fax to 607-753-9699.

In addition to its online availability, the proposed plan may be viewed during weekday business hours by appointment at the New York Field Office by calling 607-753-9334. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.