THIS SPRING BCI signed its fifth major Memorandum of Understanding with a federal agency, the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Our new partner is an integral link in virtually every aspect of the North American Bats and Mines Project: education, mine assessment, and bat-gate design, to name a few. They have longstanding affiliations with the mining industry and count among their staff many of the scientific leaders in the field. Though several Department of the Interior agencies have jurisdiction over mines, the Bureau of Mines has primary responsibility not only for classifying all inactive mine sites but also for developing technology to minimize the environmental impact of mining.
We are already working together on perhaps the most promising development to date: the creation of artificial, underground roosts to protect bats during active mining and mine-land reclamation. This technology could be a breakthrough not only for the benefit of bats that roost in mines but for enhancing many forms of habitat for a variety of species.