As an apocalyptic bat disease threatens to spread across the United States, the stage is set for a showdown between the federal government and environmentalists who feel enough isn’t being done to stop it.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the second draft version on Oct. 27 of its national response plan for White Nose Syndrome, which has killed more than a million cave-dwelling bats since emerging four years ago.
On the same day, the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity issued a press release excoriating the plan, calling it a “slow-motion response” to a disease that’s already destroyed a major part of the animal kingdom in the eastern U.S., and shows no sign of slowing.
The Center for Biological Diversity has a plan: close as many caves as possible as quickly as possible. There don’t appear to be too many other conservative options given that scientists are just now starting to test treatments.