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H.Res. 745: Expressing support for the designation of the week of October 24, 2021, to October 31, 2021, as “BatWeek”.


The text of the resolution below is as of Oct 25, 2021 (Introduced).


IV

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 745

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 25, 2021

(for himself and Mr. Rodney Davis of Illinois) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture

RESOLUTION

Expressing support for the designation of the week of October 24, 2021, to October 31, 2021, as BatWeek.

Whereas bats are vital to the sustainability of natural ecosystems, national economies, and human health by controlling damaging insect pests, pollinating plants such as fruits and vegetables, and dispersing seeds to ensure healthy functioning ecosystems, and research suggests that bats save farmers in the United States more than $3,000,000,000 in pest control every year;

Whereas bats have captured the human imagination through backyard sightings, folklore, myths, and legends, and outreach and education about the importance of bats are instrumental;

Whereas bats are present throughout the world, except in extremely cold regions, and are the second-largest order of mammals with over 1,400 species;

Whereas a deadly fungus causing white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of bats in North America, has now spread to 40 States;

Whereas the disease has been confirmed in 12 species of hibernating bats in the United States and is the primary cause for the significant decline in populations of several bat species, especially the tricolored bat, the little brown bat, and the northern long-eared bat, which is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.);

Whereas the Department of the Interior’s participation through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Geological Survey, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management is leading the international response to the disease in partnership with more than 150 Federal and State agencies, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, and universities;

Whereas the United States Geological Survey and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service co-lead the multinational, multiagency North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) which since 2015 has consolidated nearly 60 million records from 49 States, 8 Canadian provinces, and 10 tribal organizations to monitor changes in North American bat populations;

Whereas the United States Fish and Wildlife Service maintains an agreement with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to administer the Bats for the Future Fund to raise private funds to curtail the spread of white-nose syndrome and speed the recovery of bat populations; and

Whereas, in the past decade, the international response to white-nose syndrome has made extraordinary progress to understand the disease, slow the spread, and develop treatments that hold promise for defeating this epidemic, and therefore it is critical for new public-private partnerships to defeat the disease: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

expresses support for the designation of BatWeek;

(2)

encourages the observance of BatWeek with appropriate events and activities;

(3)

acknowledges the important role bats play as pollinators and pest control for agriculture; and

(4)

has the intent to—

(A)

continue working to conserve bat species and habitat; and

(B)

work to defeat the disease known as white-nose syndrome.