Hello from WY

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Hello from WY

Postby TongueRiver » Aug 25, 2013 12:08 pm

Hello all!

I recently took my 8-yr old daughter on her fist caving trip. I hadn't been caving in about 10 years... we had a blast! I had been waiting all summer with baited breath to see if the WNS closure would be lifted, and when it was I got a permit as soon as the registration process was all sorted out. We went to the local Tongue River Cave. We didn't go terribly far into the cave, only as deep as I felt we could do safely, we were in for 2-3 hours. It really re-sparked my love of caves.

However it was also very depressing. TRC has always been a seriously vandalized cave and has long been listed as a sacrifice cave. Since I was last in it about 10 years ago, the amount of graffiti has exploded :sad: with some rooms being covered floor to ceiling now. Not only that, but the graffiti has begun to appear on the trail up to the cave as well, marring beautiful rock outcroppings. During the WNS closure, the FS posted closure signs & notices at the cave entrance & trail head, all of which were promptly destroyed. The gate at the cave's entrance was also torched off. So much for closure.

After our trip, I started researching cave vandalism, which lead me to this site. I plan to do allot of reading in the conservation forum, as I want to learn more about what can be done to help restore TRC, if it's even possible.

-Megan
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Re: Hello from WY

Postby Squirrel Girl » Aug 25, 2013 7:57 pm

Welcome to Cave Chat. I saw Tongue River Cave back during the '84 NSS convention. It was pretty bad back then. I think it tied for 2nd place for "most graffiti covered cave." That sucks that it's worse. Jim and Val Werker from New Mexico know a lot about cave conservation and restoration. I'm sure they'd be happy to chat with you about what can be done. Sometimes it's a trade-off between the harm to the biota of the cave from the chemicals versus just leaving the graffiti.
Barbara Anne am Ende

"Weird people are my people."
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Re: Hello from WY

Postby VRcaver » Aug 25, 2013 9:55 pm

Welcome to Cavechat. Don't be discouraged by Tongue River cave. It is good for exploring, but definitely destroyed by the party crowd. It was my first cave years ago when I grew up in Sheridan. Now I live in Bozeman, Montana and I am president of the Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto (NRMG). We have various trips and gatherings, the near ones to you are on the Lovell side of the Bighorns and also in the Pryor Mountains. We have active members in Billings and Lovell. If you are interested, certainly look us up, we would be glad to have you! We have a group on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MontanaCaving), and you can also find our website at: http://nrmg.cavesofmontana.org/
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