Rules and Policies
Cave Closures in the State of Tennessee
Effective July 1, 2009, all caves located on state property will be closed for a year in an effort to protect the state’s bat population from the spread of White-nose Syndrom (WNS) which has been spreading rapidly throughout the northeastern caves of the United States. Resulting from a request by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, public access has been closed to all caves, sinkholes, tunnels, and abandoned mines on state land managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry. For more information on cave closings, visit the state website of the Department of Environment & Conservation at http://www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/policies.shtml#caves.
*UPDATE: February 16, 2010
~TWRA Confirms First Cases of White Nose Syndrome in Tennessee Bats
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has received confirmation that two bats have tested positive for White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a white fungus that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of bats in the Eastern United States. This is the first record of White Nose Syndrome in Tennessee. The bats were hibernating in Worley’s cave in Sullivan County. Three tri-colored bats were collected by the TWRA and submitted to the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) in Madison, WI for testing last week.