In August in Sudbury, Ontario, there will be a workshop on Abandoned Mines and Bats. Here is how they describe the workshop:
A two day workshop on August 14 th and 15th, 2012 that will bring together mining companies, regulators, NGO’s and bat scientists. The workshop will focus on the importance of abandoned mines to bats as places for hibernating sites and will clearly demonstrate how to install ‘bat gates’. Part of the workshop is a field trip to a nearby abandoned mine where participants will observe Biologists catching bats and use remote sensing equipment.
To share information with the mining community, regulators, members of NGO’s and scientists who study bats on the significance of abandoned mines. Abandoned mines can be a dangerous place and the conference will clearly demonstrate the importance of abandoned mines to bats, safety issues, the construction of ‘bat gates’ and the latest remote data collecting equipment that permit easy information gathering on bats.
I probably will not go. But this topic is one that opens up new possibilities for sustainable mine use: bat caves, colonies, breeding, and research. The possibilities are endless.
I once suggested using old mines as a place to house the homeless of East Vancouver. That idea was squashed, for, as my critic said: “You cannot take them away from the east side where they have drugs, prostitutes, begging opportunities, many charities handing out food, and all the things they live for. It would be cruel and unusual punishment to take them out of their familiar surroundings, and dump them in the countryside, even in nice old mine buildings.”
So much for that sustainable mining idea. Seems like bats don’t mind. Although it is hard to call this sustainable mining.