Post Disaster Help & Bat Disease

Post Disaster Help & Bat Disease

Post Disaster Help & Bat Disease. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

A highly contagious disease that has killed more than 6 million bats in North America has been confirmed in Washington state. The discovery of the infected little brown bat — found by hikers on a trail about 30 miles east of Seattle, marks the first time the disease has been documented in the western United States. Bats are a key pest deterrent as they eat many flying insects. The disease is passed from one bat to another, or from the cave environment to bats. Scientists have estimated the economic value of insect-eating bats to American agriculture at $22 billion annually.

Washington State is slated to get a portion of $103-million dollars from USDA for post-disaster recovery and the rehabilitation of aging dams. Some 19 states will be sharing in the pot and Natural Resources Conservation Service Assistant Chief Kirk Hanlin explains how this will help local entities with post disaster watershed recovery efforts.

HANLIN: The EWP program differs from the way we normally work with private partners in that it allows us to work with state and local governments and actually work with governments with them providing 25% of the money and us 75% of the money. In order to get work like this completed it is critical for local governments to have a partner.

That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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