Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a high school student, bat advocate, and Save Lucy volunteer. Rachael’s interest in bats was sparked by the big brown bats that used the outside of her former home for a winter roost. Rachael has been writing the Baturday News for over three years.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I survived the first week of school!!! I am in high school now. It has been a rough week. Gone are the leisurely days of sleeping past noon. I have to get up at 6:00 in the morning!!! And now I have homework!!! It’s inhumane!!! At least I got to see my friends.

A photograph of a littel brown bat who lives at Save Lucy headquarters.
Nugget, the little brown bat who lives at Save Lucy, represents her vanishing species. The Dakotas may represent a refuge for this vanishing species.

Ok, now for the serious stuff. I am sure you have all heard about the oil pipeline they are trying to build in North Dakota. The pipeline is being built just outside of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The Native Americans are fighting to stop the construction of the pipeline. They say that the construction will disturb their ancient sacred sites. They also say that the construction of the pipeline violates treaties between the US government and the Sioux. While I have some definite opinions about this, I’m not sure this is the place to discuss it. Instead, I will focus on the environmental disaster that will eventually take place if the pipeline is allowed to be constructed in this location.

In addition to being built through sacred land, the pipeline will go under the Missouri River. The river is the main source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux and many other people living in the area. It is also a source of drinking water for wildlife. If this pipeline cracks, the river will be contaminated with oil. This means that everyone and everything living in the area will lose their source of drinking water. Now, I’m sure you are wondering how this pertains to Save Lucy. I’ll tell you…bats live in North Dakota. Several different kinds of bats live there, including the little brown bat.

Little brown bats are in serious trouble. White nose syndrome has probably killed all the little brown bats in Fairfax County. The disease has killed millions of them in North America. North Dakota is a state where WNS has not been found. It is a safe haven for the little browns and many other bats. Their habitat needs to be protected.

Now, I know I am just a kid and I don’t know all there is to know about the subject. But, there has got to be another way to move oil. I don’t think contaminating a major water source is really the best idea. So, please, if there is anyone who reads my blog and has any authority over this, help the bats and the people. We’re all in this together. We really do need to work harder to save this planet…it’s the only home we’ve got.

In other news, Bat Fest Annandale is this weekend. I will be at Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale with my little batty friends tomorrow, Sunday, and I hope to see some of you there.

[Editor’s note: We struggled with this post, because we try to steer clear of ‘political issues’ and we know there is a temporary halt on some of the pipeline in question. However, when we started this blog, we told Rachael she could write whatever she wanted, as long as it was about bats; this is her blog. Hers is the voice of the next generation. Her views about environmental, political, and social issues have meaning and are valid. We often forget that the voices of our elders and our youth are important.   Many of us in the middle ages assume we have the answers and know what’s best for the world, but most likely we don’t. So we’re letting Rachael’s blog stand as written—her voice addressing issues that are important to her. Please listen. ]

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