Friday, April 11, 2014

Deadly bat disease detected in single Wisconsin site; State joins 23 others in confirming white-nose syndrome

News Release Published: April 10, 2014 by the Central WDNR Office


MADISON - White-nose syndrome, a bat disease that has spread to 23 states and killed up to 5 million bats since 2006, has been confirmed in Wisconsin, state natural resources officials announced today.


One of the bats from the Grant County mine that was confirmed to have white-nose syndrome.

Results from visual inspection and genetic and tissue tests completed earlier this month showed that 2 percent of bats in a single mine in southwestern Wisconsin had the disease, named for the characteristic white fuzz on their nose, wings and tails, according to Erin Crain, who leads the Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Conservation Program.

"The discovery is not a surprise but it's a sad day for Wisconsin. We face the loss of multiple bat species and the benefits they provide to our ecosystems and our people," Crain says.

"We knew this day would come because white-nose syndrome spreads rapidly bat to bat and bat to cave. With great cooperation from mine and cave owners, we took aggressive steps to prevent human spread of the disease to Wisconsin, and we think those steps helped delay its arrival by several years, allowing more time for research and to learn from other states' experiences. But we knew there would be no dodging the bullet. We now face the sad potential of bat die offs that will be felt at home and across the country."

Wisconsin is home to several of the upper Midwest's largest bat hibernation sites and historical estimates have put the population at 350,000 to 500,000 bats. Bats play an important role by eating insects that can damage forests and transfer diseases like West Nile Virus.At this time, the discovery in the Grant County mine appears to be an isolated occurrence. DNR's visual surveys of 85 other mine and cave sites this winter did not find any other signs of white-nose syndrome, however, DNR is awaiting results from genetic tests underway from samples collected at 19 of those other sites as part of the routine sampling.

Grant County positive an isolated occurrence
White-nose syndrome is a disease of bats infected with the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. It does not affect people or other animal species but causes hibernating bats to frequently wake from a hibernating state. Stirring repetitively depletes the bats' energy stores and can cause them to starve or become dehydrated before spring arrives. Up to 95 percent of bats in infected caves and mines in other states have died.
DNR bat crews had been wrapping up winter surveillance efforts for 2014 when they discovered 11 individual bats with the classic signs of white-nose syndrome in the Grant County mine. The mine is within flying distance for bats from a site in Illinois where white-nose syndrome had been confirmed in 2012.

Bat crews collected two of the bats for genetic and other laboratory testing; the results came back in early April and were positive.The same mine had been examined as recently as December 2013 as part of a study and had no visual signs of white-nose syndrome at that time, Crain says. All four species of bats that hibernate in Wisconsin cave and mines have been documented in this particular mine during surveys in recent years.

Next steps in efforts to save bats
Cave and mine owners have been notified of the positive site in Grant County.
DNR will be meeting with its external white-nose syndrome science and stakeholder teams to discuss the finding and how best to proceed based on data collected this winter. The teams are advisory and will forward management recommendations to DNR for consideration, Crain says.
Most state caves that serve as bat hibernacula have already been seasonally closed to the public for several years as part of the measures DNR has taken to give hibernating bats the best possible chance. Several have been closed to all access to delay introduction of the disease to Wisconsin and to slow its spread. Voluntary prevention plan agreements are in place with private and public owners of caves and mines open to human access, including all commercial caves and mines. Recreational cavers also have followed decontamination procedures that prevent transmission of disease between sites.

How citizens can help, including reporting sick or dead bats
Wisconsin citizens can help bats by continuing to avoid disturbing bats, especially during hibernation; by following all decontamination requirements for those who enter caves or mines, and by continuing to volunteer to monitor bat populations in Wisconsin through a variety of different opportunities. Wisconsin's four bat cave species are listed as threatened, a status which makes it illegal to kill them or take action that would result in their death. Learn more about bats and volunteering opportunities on DNR's Bat Program website, found at http://wiatri.net/inventory/bats.

People who see sick or dead bats are encouraged to report them to DNR. DNR's Bat Program website,http://wiatri.net/inventory/bats has a link to the reporting form and instructions for how to safely collect carcasses of dead bats. People should not touch or handle bats without appropriate protective clothing.

"Now more than ever we need Wisconsinites' help to keep our bats as healthy as they can heading into next year's hibernation period and the challenges they will face," Crain says.

Popular “Rockin’ in Josten” Summer Concert Series 2014 Lineup

The Rockin’ in Josten Summer Concert Series, returning this summer is scheduled to open on Saturday, June 7, 2014 and will feature local area talent from a variety of musical genres. The 2014 Series includes six concert dates June-August.  Concerts will be free and open to the general public. Musical acts will begin performing at 6:00pm and will continue until 8:30pm. Performers will be located underneath the open pavilion at Josten Park (2280 Town Hall Road).

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, or blankets.  Carry-ins are allowed, however attendees are encouraged to support the Bellevue Lion’s Club and Friends of Bellevue Parks who will be available selling concessions.

2014 CONCERT SCHEDULE
Saturday, June 7th—Red Light Saints (genre: Rock) * 6-9:30pm
Monday, June 16th—The Cougars (genre: Rock/80’s to Current)
Monday, July 7th—Talk of the Town (genre: Dixieland Jazz)
Monday, July 21st—Running with Scissors (genre: Variety)
Monday, August 4th—The Bomb (genre: Classic 80’s/90’s)
Monday, August 18th—Charisma (genre: Variety)

Sponsored by Walmart and the Bellevue Lions Club
 *Proceeds from the June 7th event will be used to support the Bellevue Lion’s Club.

For more information visit the Village's website at http://www.villageofbellevue.org/rockin  or contact the Parks and Leisure Services Department at (920) 468-5225.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Communication Tools Send Village Message

The Village of Bellevue is committed to developing and sharing content that will inspire residents, businesses and interested parties to join the conversation and receive vital Bellevue information. With each post and article, our goal is to inspire, engage, entertain and/or inform.  We utilize the following tools to communicate with our residents.

E-Newsletter
Stay up to date with Village information; sign up to receive the Village e-newsletter. The Village e-newsletter includes articles about upcoming events, Village projects and important tips. It is emailed most Mondays.  Listed below is a link to sign up to start receiving the e-newsletter.  https://www.facebook.com/BellevueWisconsin/app_100265896690345

L.I.F.E
. Guide
The Bellevue L.I.F.E. Guide highlights Parks and Leisure Services Programs. The Guide is mailed to Bellevue residents twice per year generally in April and November.  Additional copies are available at the Village office.

Village Print Newsletter

The Bellevue Focus newsletter is mailed to every Bellevue household quarterly. Newsletters are generally mailed out each year in January, April, July and October. Additional copies are available at the Village office.



Facebook Page
Like us on Facebook to receive quick updates about the Village! https://www.facebook.com/BellevueWisconsin

 Twitter
The Village Twitter page is another great site to receive quick updates about the Village. Start following us on Twitter.  https://twitter.com/BellevueWI


Blog
Each year the Village publishes hundreds of relevant articles on our Blog. Blog post can be  viewed at:  http://villageofbellevue.blogspot.com/


We’d love to hear your feedback about our communication strategy! If you have a comment or question please feel free to contact Debra Lom at dlom@villageofbellevue.org

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Village Compost Site Now Open For Season

The Village's compost site IS OPEN NOW for the 2014 season to receive your brush, yard waste and small branches.

The location of the Village's yard waste site is at 3891 Eaton Road. The site is located on Eaton Road (CTH JJ) east of Grandview Road. Location Map

Materials accepted include grass clippings, garden materials, leaves and brush, and small stumps. The site will remain open through the Fall depending on weather conditions with a closing date sometime in December 2014.

Local landscape contractors are allowed to use the site on behalf of residents, but are required to obtain a vehicle permit prior to use.  Please contact the Village Offices at 920-468-5225 to obtain your permit.

Misuse and illegal dumping at the gate will result in fines and the loss of future use of the facility!