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Usage Policy

BCCS and White Nose Syndrome


Because of the ongoing epidemic of bat deaths associated with white nose syndrome, the BCCS has adopted these restrictions for BCCS-managed caves:

  1. From October 15th to April 15th, the area of Butler Cave (click for map) around the historic Nicholson entrance, where bats historically hibernate, is off limits except for science and exploration trips approved in writing by the Butler Project Leader. As of October 2015, there is no compelling need for exploration in this area during the restricted time period, and most science trips can occur outside of restricted time period and still be effective. Thus the Butler Project Leader will only approve limited bat counting trips with a bat biologist or other compelling science that needs to occur during the restricted period.
  2. From October 15th to April 15th, entrance into other BCCS-managed caves is strictly for science and exploration projects.
  3. The responsibility for following BCCS policy falls on the trip leader, who will be a BCCS member.

The BCCS also has adopted the recommendations of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as expressed by the DGIF, the DCR, and the VCB. The most recent version of the recommendations no longer requires decontamination in Virginia, as every Virginia cave is considered WNS positive. However, the recommendations still encourages cavers to thoroughly wash their gear between caving trips, and the BCCS also encourages thorough washing of your caving gear.

The BCCS strongly encourages cavers to not take any gear from a WNS positive area into a WNS negative area.

Please let the bats hibernate in peace.

There is more information on WNS available on the NSS WNS Page.

Bat infected with WNS