Target: Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe and Chief of Endangered Species Program Douglas Krofta
Goal: Save the endangered gray bat’s habitat from illegal mining operations.
Gray bats are an endangered species but their survival is now being threatened by illegal mining activity of their fragile habitat in Cave Springs Cave. Their survival is so important that the USFWS had considered and proposed buying all major caves where the bats are documented to live. However, Martin Marietta and LaFarge, the owners of the limestone mine operation around Cave Springs Cave, are deliberately destroying parts of one of the last remaining gray bat caves.
A large portion of the cave has already been destroyed over the last few decades due to mining. Blasting has caused the cave’s structure to become unstable, and at one point, the entrance was nearly sealed with rubble. The limestone mine operation owners have mined the cave without a permit for years without intervention even though the Endangered Species Act requires businesses to apply for permits if their actions affect an endangered species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs to stop ignoring this illegal mining activity. Please sign this petition to demand that the USFWS protect the gray bats in Cave Springs Cave and require Martin Marietta and LaFarge to acquire mining permits.
Dear Dan Ashe and Douglas Krofta,
I am writing to you regarding the survival of endangered gray bats in Cave Springs Cave being threatened due to illegal mining activity. Martin Marietta and LaFarge, the owners of a limestone mine operation around the cave, have been irresponsibly destroying the species’ fragile habitats for decades. Damages include rendering the cave’s structure unstable and nearly sealing the entrance with rubble from blasting. You must keep the cave’s preservation in mind, especially since the owners have been mining without the mandatory permits required by the Endangered Species Act.
If Cave Springs Cave is destroyed, the gray bat’s population will dwindle. They are incredibly vital to our ecosystem and it is your job to protect them. Several endangered bat species and the remainder of the Illinois Cave Beetle population have suffered the negative consequences. I am urging you to require Martin Marietta and LaFarge to acquire the mandatory mining permits and protect the gray bats. Don’t allow them to to continue mining irresponsibly. It is possible to continue the mining operations while protecting the gray bat population and habitat at the same time.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ann Froschauer