Feds plan work on bat cave near Redstone
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
REDSTONE ” The U.S. Forest Service is alerting Redstone residents about work that is about to start north of Redstone to make an old mine more bat friendly.
The Forest Service will work with the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety to close some parts of the mine and protect the resident bats. The work will start Sept. 29 and continue until mid-October, according to the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District.
“The work will stabilize the openings of an old mine, where bats live, and equip the openings with bat-friendly gates. The mine site is located on an eroding hillside where loose debris is slowly blocking the mine opening,” said a statement from the Forest Service.
The majority of bats living at the mine are Townsend’s big-eared bats. They are a mid-sized bat with big ears. They roost in caves and old mines in many parts of Colorado.
White River National Forest personnel have been monitoring the falling debris at the site for several years, and this year the Forest Service conducted an environmental analysis of the proposal to conduct this project.
The bat-gate’s horizontal bars and gaps will allow bats to move freely in and out of the mine while keeping curiosity seekers out of the old mine shafts, which are extremely unsafe.
“As a group, we have been working a long time on the effort to protect these bats,” Aspen-Sopris Ranger District wildlife biologist Phil Nyland said in a statement. “It’s the largest colony of this species of bat on public lands in Colorado.”
The project will involve using a small trackhoe to move earth and rock around the mine openings, inserting large culverts into the mine to maintain the opening, constructing stabilizing walls, and building the steel bat gates.
Residents of north Redstone may see some extra traffic and dust in the air because of the project. Equipment will be traveling north on Duray Way and turning onto the old railroad grade to the north end of Filoha Meadows.
The project is a cooperative effort between the state of Colorado, White River National Forest, Pitkin County, Colorado Cave Survey and Robert Congdon, who holds an unpatented mining claim where the old mine is located.
For more information, contact Phil Nyland at the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District at (970) 963-2266.
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