WLT Successfully Reclaims Idaho's Painter Mine and Protects Bat Habitat

WLT Successfully Reclaims Idaho's Painter Mine and Protects Bat Habitat

Nov. 03, 2014

Back to the Bat Cave!


Now that Halloween is over, bats around the country can settle down for a long rest. Spooky holidays aside, the time has actually come for bats to hibernate.  In cooler weather, bats seek out caves or other protected areas for periods of torpor (inactivity), where they remain for a few days to a several weeks at a time.


The Wilderness Land Trust played an important role in protecting bat caves this month. Early in 2014, The Wilderness Land Trust purchased the 39-acre Painter Mine, on the banks of the Salmon River in Idaho’s Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness. Historic mining activities left two open adits and one open shaft on site. In order to transfer this property to the US Forest Service, for inclusion in wilderness, WLT needed to clean up the site and make it safe for the public.  


In partnership with the Idaho Department of Lands, WLT reclaimed the mine. The clean-up crew removed old mining junk and hazardous materials by jet boat. They also closed the open adits and shafts for safety, as this spot is popular for boaters traveling down the river. However, the open adits were closed with bat gates developed by the American Cave Conservation Association and Bat Conservation International. This keeps people out, but allows bats to enter and exit freely.


WLT is now working to remove additional mining equipment and a cabin from the site and looks forward to making this riverfront property part of the wilderness. Check out photos from the report!


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