U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Awards Grants To 28 States, Including Tennessee, For Work On Deadly Bat Disease

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday announced grant awards totaling $950,694 to twenty-eight states for white-nose syndrome (WNS) projects.

State natural resource agencies will use the funds to support research, monitor bat populations and detect and respond to white-nose syndrome, a disease that afflicts bats.

“White-nose syndrome has spread rapidly from one state in 2007 to 22 states and five Canadian provinces this year,” said Dr. Jeremy Coleman, the Service’s national WNS coordinator.

“These grants provide essential support to our state partners in responding to this disease. The research, monitoring, and actions made possible by these grants have yielded valuable results and insights for our national response to white-nose syndrome.”

“This is one of the most devastating diseases affecting wildlife in eastern North America,” said Wendi Weber, co-chairwoman of the White-Nose Syndrome Executive Committee and Service Northeast Regional Director. “Best estimates indicate that it has killed more than 5.7 million bats.”

First discovered in New York in the winter of 2006-2007, the disease has spread rapidly through the eastern U.S. and parts of Canada, and continues to move westward. The Service is leading a cooperative effort with federal and state agencies, tribes, researchers, universities and other non-government organizations to research and manage the spread of WNS. In addition to developing science-based protocols and guidance for land management agencies and other partners to minimize the spread of WNS, the Service has funded numerous research projects to support and assess management recommendations and improve basic understanding of the dynamics of the disease.

Funding for grants was provided through the Endangered Species Recovery program. Proposals were received from 28 states requesting $1,042,938. All eligible requests were given at least partial awards, ranging from about $7,000 to $47,500, for a total of $950,694.

Additional information about WNS, the international disease investigation, and research can be found on the national WNS website at www.whitenosesyndrome.org/. The site contains up-to-date information and resources from partners in the WNS response, current news and links to social media.

America’s fish, wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. We are working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. Learn more about the Endangered Species Program at: www.fws.gov/endangered/.

The awards are as follows:

Colorado

$41,500

Connecticut

$41,546

Delaware

$6,877

Idaho

$41,500

Illinois

$29,449

Indiana

$9,230

Iowa

$25,782

Kentucky

$47,500

Maine

$17,371

Michigan

$47,500

Minnesota

$20,970

Mississippi

$42,248

Montana

$31,096

Nebraska

$39,813

New Jersey

$43,287

Missouri

$9,500

North Carolina

$45,000

Ohio

$43,000

Oregon

$41,487

Pennsylvania

$26,760

Rhode Island

$34,226

Tennessee

$47,500

Texas

$39,566

Vermont

$29,500

Virginia

$38,350

Washington

$15,136

West Virginia

$47,500

Wisconsin

$47,500


Appalachian Trail Produces Deer Poacher And Lost Dog

TWRA wildlife officers working along the Appalachian Trail in the Cherokee National Forest near Butler charged a hunter with violations related to illegal deer hunting, then rescued a lost family pet in the same area.  Carter County Wildlife Officer Dennis Ward has documented illegal ATV tracks on Iron Mountain for several years, and while scouting out the area this year, ... (click for more)

Drought-Induced Peril Prompts Rescue Of Endangered Fish

The fishes that live in headwater streams are like the scrappy underdogs of the aquatic world. They’ve adapted to hang tough in low-oxygen conditions and to make it through the occasional drought. But even Rocky Balboa couldn’t go 15 rounds — let alone months at a stretch — without the occasional water break. Thanks to a drought of historic proportions, the few creeks ... (click for more)

Lawsuit Says Girl Received Severe Traumatic Brain Injury In Woodmore Bus Wreck

A new lawsuit in the tragic Woodmore Elementary School bus wreck said one girl on the bus suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Attorneys Joseph Fried and Michael Goldberg of Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC filed a lawsuit in Hamilton County Circuit Court on behalf of the minor daughter of Shanquatta Byrd. The bus driver, Johnthony Walker, was transporting 37 students from ... (click for more)

Officer Who Was Shot Returned Fire; Is Recovering Well; Shooter Still On Loose

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday morning that the officer who was shot three times on Thursday is recovering well.   Chief Fletcher said the officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit the vest, which protected him during the shooting.  The officer was able to return fire, although Chief Fletcher would not comment on how many bullets ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abolish Bail For Poor

Our terribly overcrowded Hamilton County Jail may get some help from an unsuspected corner – the Obama administration is tackling the fact that right now over 450,000 people are in our country’s jails because they are too poor to pay for bail. It is a violation of the Constitution to “punish people for their poverty.” As the Eighth Amendment provides, “… excessive bail ought not ... (click for more)