Fairmount Minerals' Wisconsin Mine Wins Bat Conservation Action Award

Wildlife Habitat Council Recognizes Hager City-Bay City Team Members for Bat Conservation and Education Efforts

Jan 29, 2013, 06:22 ET from Fairmount Minerals

HAGER CITY and BAY CITY, Wis., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Fairmount Minerals announced today the Wildlife Habitat CouncilSM has recognized the company's Hager City-Bay City mine with its Bat Conservation Action Award. The award, which was presented at the council's annual symposium last fall, distinguishes the nation's most outstanding bat habitat enhancement program.

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"Fairmount Minerals is grateful to the Wildlife Habitat Council for recognizing our efforts to conserve and maintain Wisconsin's bat population," said Lauren Evans, sustainable development coordinator for Fairmount Minerals' Wisconsin region. "We are accepting this award in memory of David Redell, a bat ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, who passed away recently from brain cancer at age 42. We worked closely with Dave. He organized the department's bat conservation program, and he developed a plan that will guide the state's response to White Nose Syndrome."

More than 5 million North American bats have died from White Nose Syndrome, which is spreading from the East Coast to the Midwest. The syndrome does not harm people or pets. Controlling the syndrome is vital to the ecosystem since bats, which are on Wisconsin's threatened species list, eat millions of insects that can destroy crops. Killing a bat in Wisconsin is against the law.

Working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), team members at the underground mine have developed a series of projects to attract and protect nearly 53,000 bats that hibernate there. The mining process has created a natural habitat that is now Wisconsin's third largest bat hibernating spot.  

The DNR has installed bat detectors at the mine to log the time and direction of the night-flying bats so they can learn more about White Nose Syndrome. The mine has also installed gates and blocked other mine entrances to allow the bats to fly into their tunnel home. The gates are helping to prevent predators from entering.

All mine visitors are instructed how to prevent spreading White Nose Syndrome by ensuring their clothing, shoes, equipment, and vehicles were not contaminated prior to entering the property.

The mine's team members also work with the Boy Scouts of America® and young students to build and maintain bat boxes, another important sheltering spot.

Besides recognizing the mine with the bat conservation award, the Wildlife Habitat Council recertified the Hager City-Bay City mine for its successful community conservation education through the council's Wildlife at Work and Corporate Lands for Learning programs. The recertification once again underscores Fairmount Minerals' corporate commitment to environmental preservation and conservation. The mine was first certified in 2010.

The Wildlife at Work program "provides a structure for corporate-driven cooperative efforts between management, employees, and community members to create, conserve, and restore wildlife habitats on corporate lands." The Corporate Lands for Learning program "involves the community in conservation efforts" by teaching "a clear understanding of the interdependence of ecology, economics, and social structures in urban and rural areas."

Through these programs, the Hager City-Bay City mine team members work with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts™, 4-H™ groups, schools, and service organizations to complete projects that preserve native wildlife and habitat at and around the mine's property.

About Fairmount Minerals
Fairmount Minerals is one of North America's largest producers of industrial sand. The Chardon, Ohio-based company operates a global network of 23 mining, mineral processing, manufacturing, and coating facilities with six administrative and R&D offices.

Fairmount Minerals' specialized sands advance a vast array of industries and markets, such as construction, filtration, foundry, glass, sports turf, and oil and gas. The company's more than 750 employees bring its sustainability motto of 'Do Good. Do Well.' to life and embrace its sustainable development (SD) mission of People, Planet, and Prosperity. For more information, please visit: www.fairmountminerals.com.

Lauren Evans

SOURCE Fairmount Minerals