TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

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TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby tncaver » Oct 27, 2012 9:10 am

It's official now. Tennessee owns Lost Creek Cave in White County TN. It will be interesting to see how the state's ownership affects
visitation to the popular cave. It will be interesting to see if the state plans to close the cave as the state has done to the dozens of other caves that are now under state government jurisdiction. Read about it in the following link.

http://www.topix.com/hobbies/spelunking ... rk-expands
Last edited by tncaver on Nov 18, 2012 7:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby GroundquestMSA » Oct 27, 2012 8:05 pm

It seems like it would be wise to leave Lost Creek open. I don't think there's much in there to destroy. Closing the cave would likely redirect attention to other caves that may not be as well eqipped to handle heavy traffic.
Lost Creek is a bit of a bore. Let the hordes have it.
And whoever JET is, he needs a good thrashing for spraying his initials all over the waterfall.
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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Oct 28, 2012 6:46 pm

Lost Creek Cave is a good beginners cave and it is also one that we have sent beginners looking for open caves to for years.

But, it is also a long and big cave and if you do venture far enough from the entrance, there is a lot to see.

Diney filmed part of "The Jungle Book" in the big sinkhole entrance with the waterfall a number of years back.

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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Oct 29, 2012 7:45 am

The vertical thru trip going in the Ben White entrance is a lot of fun to do too... It's challenging getting thru those tight spots!


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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby KWW » Oct 29, 2012 10:03 am

From the article posted by the NSS on FaceBook it doesn't sound like they are planning to close the cave. They have contacted Buddy Lane to help with a management plan.
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012 ... Creek-Cav/

I wonder if the cave will remain open in the interim?

How far back do you have to go to see the undisturbed cave? Or is it just so heavily trekked that most of the cave is vandalized? Is it worth seeing at all? It sounds like a very big cave that must have some large rooms...
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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Oct 29, 2012 10:19 am

chynabear wrote:They have contacted Buddy Lane to help with a management plan.


It has been posted elsewhere on public forums that Anne Elmore has volunteered the UCG and Spencer Mountain Grotto to help with the management plan of the cave.

Friends of Lost Creek Cave group on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/245202642239929/
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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby tncaver » Oct 29, 2012 11:04 am

Once past the waterfall most of the cave is fairly clean of grafitti.
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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby KWW » Oct 29, 2012 11:17 am

Cool, thanks for the link Kelly. Very informative. Is that the same Anne that was on the survey trip with us down into the valley with me, Steve D., Keith, and you and Jason?
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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Oct 29, 2012 12:23 pm

Hey Ken,

I didn't recognize you in the pic...! Nope, this is a different Anne.

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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Oct 29, 2012 2:28 pm

On a related note:

Last Wednesday (October 24), I made my first research trip into Dunbar Cave in over three (3) years. I had to get a Special Permit to conduct Historical Research, since the cave has been closed due to White Nose Syndrome.

I invited Mike Robertson, the new Director of Tennessee State Parks to join us on the trip. Of course, you know these people are busy, but I was pleasantly surprised that he accepted the invitation and spent half the day in the cave with us.

Hopefully, we will have a more sympathetic ear in our quest for acess to caves on State property. The first step, as always, is to establish communication. I'm really pleased that has been done !

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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby BrianC » Nov 17, 2012 10:02 am

It would appear that Lost Creek Cave will follow all the state owned caves and be closed except for biological research, as is the same for the rest. The other big concern is , Will the state follow the ESA?
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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby BrianC » Nov 20, 2012 11:42 am

The State will follow the FWS keeping caves closed or damage control controversy not opening all caves would be a nightmare!

I will simplify this by using the "Re-Wilding Plan" set forth by the UN for areas only inhabitable by wildlife, with absolutely zero human allowance in these set aside areas. Not a big deal for those that don't like the wild lands, or those that believe that wild lands should not allow human intrusion, but the rest of us it is a big deal!
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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Nov 20, 2012 1:04 pm

Although Lost Creek Cave is not technically a part of nearby Fall Creek Falls State Park...........yet, isn't it ironic that they allow deer hunting inside the State Park, yet we can't go inside a cave there?

At the rate they are acquiring land in the area, there may very well be a LARGE park, that includes both the current Fall Creek Falls Park and the nearby Scotts Gulf. I actually hope there is, but they need to allow recreational caving. You can bird-watch, hike, camp, canoe, fish, kayak, etc., etc., etc. Give us a break !!!!

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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby PYoungbaer » Nov 20, 2012 3:23 pm

I was just sent this post from Dave Pelren, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Tennessee, regarding Lost Creek Cave. Dave says USFWS will providing input to TDEC's management plan, and says they will consider cavers. I would hope TDEC goes further and directly involves the caving community in the plan development.

Lost Creek Cave and FWS involvement
By: David Pelren (Cookeville, Tennessee)
pelren@charter.net


I'm a biologist with the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), and I should clarify a point or two about Lost Creek Cave (LCC) in White County, Tennessee. You may be aware that the Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) recently acquired the cave. While we at the Tennessee Ecological Services Field Office hope that enforcement action
there will not become necessary, I can't speak for the FWS's Law Enforcement division in this regard. Our law enforcement folks enforce the Endangered Species Act on all types of property. I should emphasize that this enforcement involves ensuring that individuals do not "take" endangered species, including disturbance of resting animals. The federally endangered Indiana bat and gray bat have both been documented to use LCC in recent years, and anyone venturing into the cave during hibernation season would very possibly affect the species' ability to adequately regulate its caloric reserves in surviving through an entire winter. This is especially important during a time when white-nose syndrome might be present in LCC and causing stress to bats there.

TDEC is preparing a management plan for LCC, and the FWS will provide input to this process. I prefer to focus on the actions that can be implemented through this plan for wise use of the cave - rather than focusing on possible enforcement actions. While a strict moratorium on any visitation of LCC might be preferred by many, I realize that many others will continue to enter the cave if nothing is done to inform them about the situation. As Chuck Sutherland indicated, I talked with several groups of people in the LCC parking area during the last few weeks about bats and LCC visitation. The overwhelming majority of those people were interested to hear about the need to refrain from disturbing bats during hibernation and associated "swarming" activities (from about September 15 to April 15). While I threw an unexpected wet blanket on a few people's party, I was encouraged to hear words of cooperation from almost everyone there.

I appreciate the spread of this information to people that might be considering caving at LCC, especially between Sept. 15 and April 15. In the meantime, the management plan will be developed with cavers in mind.

While I can't promise that summer visitation will be a part of the plan, I believe that this option (with proper decontamination and regulation of the numbers of cavers using LCC) will be discussed. It is possible that the FWS will support such an option.

If you've made it this far, thanks. Please spread the facts.

-Dave Pelren
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Re: TN aquires Lost Creek Cave

Postby BrianC » Nov 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Peter, Like I said!
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