TUCSON -- Across the west, old mines are a safety hazard that need to be secured.
Due to a loss of natural habitat, old mines are also often essential habitat for dozens of bat species, including some endangered bats.
As Arizona speeds efforts to secure old mines left open by irresponsible mining companies, bats can and must be protected.
Endangered Lesser Long-Nosed Bat in Arizona. Photo by Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation InternationalInstead of filling all mine entrances, bat-friendly security grates should be installed where bats use mines.
Bat grates work to keep people out of dangerous abandoned mines, and keep ecologically important bats safe at the same time.
When, with your support, I'm elected to the Arizona Legislature, I'll work with the public, mining companies, State Mine Inspector Joe Hart (R) and other officials to be sure old mines are secured in a conservation-minded way.