Bat Gate Mine Closure Project - Zaleski State Forest
Bat gates prevent the public from entering the unstable and dangerous abandoned mine openings, but still allow bats to use the mines as habitat. This is especially critical when they are used for winter hibernation.
The Zaleski State Forest Bat Gate Project was part of a larger project to close mine entries in Southeastern Ohio in 2003/2004.
Ohio Division of Wildlife biologists determined that certain entries and mining complexes were being used by bats. As a result, Division of Mineral Resources designers formulated a gate design closely modeled on that espoused by Bat Conservation International.
Twenty-four entries were closed at this site. Of these, twenty received nearly two thousand square feet of light duty bat gates.
These structures were constructed onsite using primarily 4” common steel angles. They were subsequently primed and painted. An educational sign was developed for placement in each entry. Engel Excavating of Frankfort, Ohio completed the work for $75,351.24.
An early fall post construction inspection by the Office of Surface Mining showed bats exhibiting swarming behavior, possibly in preparation to winter hibernation in several entries.