Managers on the Bighorn National Forest are reminding the public of a ban against entering caves in the forest to protect bats from contracting a disease that's killed millions of bats elsewhere in the country.
Regional Forester Dan Jirón recently extended an order that bars entering caves or abandoned mines in national forests and grasslands in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.
The Forest Service says the closure is necessary to protect bat species and habitat from the spread of White-nose Syndrome. Experts estimate that the fungal disease has killed more than 5 million bats in the eastern U.S. and Canada. They say it's continuing to spread west.