Regional Offices > Sheridan Region > Sheridan Region News > Tongue River cave closure

Tongue River cave closure

October 10, 2018
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Sheridan - Tongue River Cave on the Bighorn National Forest will close for the season on the afternoon of Oct. 14.  The cave is home to at least six documented species of bats and a new bat-friendly gate was recently built and installed by WGFD personnel to protect hibernating bats from human disturbance during the winter. When hibernating bats are roused, they take flight, expending energy they need to survive the winter at a time when they can’t find insects to eat to replenish their strength.
The cave is currently planned to re-open to the public on April 16, 2019, but registration through the U.S. Forest Service and a commitment to follow decontamination procedures is required to enter the cave. Decontamination involves cleaning clothing and equipment to prevent accidentally spreading the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS) from one site to another. The fungus that causes WNS was first identified in the northeastern United States and has now been found in 36 states, including Wyoming, and seven Canadian provinces. Since 2006, WNS has killed more than five million bats in the United States.

For more information on the cave closure, please contact the U.S. Forest Service Bighorn National Forest office at 307-674-2600.

- WGFD -

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