MSS Save the Bats Committee

July 20 2011 Draft WI WNS Plan pdf

" The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has posted the draft "WI White-nose Syndrome Implementation Strategy" as a way to keep Wisconsin citizens informed of the department's WNS strategy. The implementation strategy was developed as an internal document to guide the department's direction and actions as we address WNS minimization efforts, detection, research, and management options. The strategy is currently out for professional review by our partners in the neighboring state and federal agencies. Although there is not a formal public comment period, stakeholder comments regarding the strategy are welcome and can be forwarded to David Redell at or WI DNR, ER/6, 101 Sl. Webster Street, Madison, WI 53707."

The MSS supports the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
National plan for dealing with WNS

We need your help to keep the Wisconsin DNR from causing the deaths of thousands of bats in the name of protecting them from WNS.

The Wisconsin NRB completely trusts the DNR employees, no matter what bat conservation groups or leading bat researchers say about factual errors in the DNR background research and the resulting DNR policies. The Wisconsin DNR is NOT following mainstream science nor the advice of leading bat and cave scientists.

Even worse, staff are misquoting research studies and results to further their rogue position that humans are a major vector transmitting WNS and that DNR collecting of bats in hibernation and putting into fridges to overwinter will somehow "save" them. (We have filed a Freedom of Information Request [FOIA] to try to get details on the conditions and mortality of removed bats)

The DNR is also misusing thier powers by classifying a potential pathogen as invasive so they can grant themselves broad legal powers to enter private property in search of fungal spores.

DNR exempt from Freedom of Information Act for Bats

Emergency Order ER-37-10(E) lists bats as "threatened" in Wisconsin. Because of this change, detailed bat population data is no longer covered under the laws of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Per s. 23.27 3(b), Wis. Stats. The statute also exempts detailed NHI data from the Wisconsin Open Records Law, because of the sensitivity of the data as well as other concerns.

The DNR has the authority to approve/deny requests for this information and to require that the information is not deseminted to the public.

How to Help

  • Donate

    We will need money for our legal team!

    Donations can be made to:

    MSS Save the Bats Legal Defense Fund
    c/o Kandy Olson, Treasurer
    219 N Garden St
    Lake City MN 55041

    Make your check out to the "Minnesota Speleological Survey"

Main Proof cited by DNR Called into Question by Experts

October 26, WI DNR expert, Gregor Schuurman, testified that the proof WNS is spread by humans is in the fact that it showed up far away from the east coast. Dr. Hazel Barton points out that the caves that the WDNR sites as evidence that humans transmit WNS are gated with no human access. Gregor Schuurman reply was that he's not familiar with the caves he cited as the primary proof that humans transmit WNS, yet this is THE main example cited by the WI DNR for their entire logic of their management plans and emergency orders!!!

Audio Recording of Meeting - Skip to the last few minutes for the above exchange

Emergency Orders:

Due to newly expanded regulatory powers of the WI DNR, emergency orders are approved before public hearing or comments. IS-49-10(E) was posted to the DNR website less then 72 hours before the vote by the Natural Review Board!!! We beleive these are test cases for this new, expanded, regulatory powers.

Select Letters Opposing the DNR's Emergency Orders

Here are a few of th hundreds of letters that the DNR Natural Review Board recevied for the Oct 27 meeting:

National Speleological Society's Letter
Opposing WI DNR's Emergency Order IS-49-10(E)pdf
(research cited by the WI DNR for thier actions is called
"patently false" by the principle investegator of the study)

Bat Conservation International's Letter
Opposing WI DNR's Emergency Order IS-49-10(E)pdf
Stating that there is no need for an emergency order and the public hearing and comment process should be followed.

Minnesota Speleological Survey's Letter
Opposing WI DNR's Emergency Order IS-49-10(E)pdf

Merlin D. Tuttle and Thomas H. Kunz Letter
Opposing WI DNR's Emergency Order IS-49-10(E)pdf
Details that bat removal is bad science and will increase the spread of WNS

Background Reading on WNS

Translocation of bats as a conservation strategy: previous attempts and potential problems. Published in Endangered Species Research 2009

Management Strategies for Responding to White-Nose Syndrome In Bats pdf
by Tom Aley, Ozark Underground Laboratory. Published in the NSS News Feb 2010

A great article on the state of knowledge on WNS and Geomyces destructans
Scientists Hope Genome Will Stop Bat Disease. Published in 2010

Audio Files of DNR Meetings

Oct 26 2010 DNR public hearing. DNR staff (Gregor Schuurman and Cory Paloski(both WIDNR conservation biologists) giving their "informational" presentations. We asked Dr Hazel Barton to attend this meeting and if you skip to the last few minutes it's eye opening how little the DNR knows when quizzed by Dr. Barton

Oct 27 2010 Wisconsin Natural Resources Board meeting, covering agenda item 3B1- the emergency WNS management plan.

In the Media

Oct 22 2010: Wisconsin DNR proposes new rules to fight bat disease
by Todd Richmond, Associated Press Writer, Superior Telegram

Media / PR Contacts

Please contact: