Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

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Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby BamaGoodfella » Jul 25, 2013 10:15 am

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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Jul 25, 2013 10:55 am

Weaver Cave isn't worth the $330,000 they are asking for it and this isn't the first attempt at someone trying to develop it.

The Gadsden Grotto and the SKTF have had a few cleanups there. It was a huge mess then and i'm sure locals have continued to destroy it. It's by far one of the worst vandalized caves I've ever personally seen. Back when they were doing the cleanups (about 4 years ago), there was also a rather large bat colony living in the Lady Cave entrance. Not sure if they are still living there or not.

Here is a link to some pictures in the Lady Cave entrance to Weaver just prior to one of the cleanups, you can see the bats in one of the pics. http://www.flickr.com/photos/undergroun ... 247907345/

And here are some photos during one of the cleanups:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 49ebacdeb6
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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby BamaGoodfella » Jul 25, 2013 11:52 am

I agree that property isn't worth anywhere near $330,000. I'm not sure how bad the vandalism is now, but I told Trogman that the last time I visited the cave (1992-1993) it was a VERY sad sight due to all the graffiti. I have to give the city of Weaver a thumbs up for being concerned about the cave though.
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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby trogman » Jul 25, 2013 12:26 pm

BamaGoodfella-Thanks for sharing that interesting story,as I was not aware of this.

Considering the current owner bought the land for $125K, and then cut the timber off of most of it, I'd say he is looking to make a tidy profit if he sells for that much.

As far as the current condition of the cave, last time I went (a couple of months ago), it was still much better than before, but the cans and bottles and general litter were starting to show up in a lot of places. If you go, take a trash bag and take out a little trash-every little bit helps. Also I have heard that the current owner is enforcing the "no trespassing" policy, so make sure you have permission.

With regards to the bats, there was still a lot of evidence of them (HUGE piles of guano, especially back in the maze section). We didn't actually see many bats, and what we did see were Pips. I plan to be there again soon, so I will be curious to see if the colonizing-type bats are still roosting there.

I would love to see someone buy it who would take proper care of the cave and the bats. I don't think the SCCI has any interest in it, mainly because the cave is not much of a draw for us cavers. The only reason for them to look at it would be for protection of the bats, and then they would have to either monitor the property or gate it. With 4 currently accessible entrances, that would be hard to do.

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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby trogman » Jul 27, 2013 8:55 am

All:
Yesterday we took a small group to Weaver/Lady Cave to introduce a couple of new cavers to the experience. It was a great opportunity to introduce little Houston (7 years old) and his dad to caving. Houston was much more enthusiastic that his dad. All the little guy could say was "Dad, can we go caving again? Huh, Dad, can we?" I love it!
I took a very short video to document the large number of bats in the cave. This is just a small sampling of the population there. There is apparently something about this particular cave that these bats find suitable for their summer habitation. I have no idea what kind they are, and we did not get any close-up photos or video to allow ID. I am interested in going by one summer evening soon to see the bat flight, although it is uncertain which of the 4 open entrances the majority of them would choose for their exit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P09yVPDcmeI&feature=youtu.be
As much as I would hate to loose access to a local cave, it may be best for the government to purchase it and close it to the public to protect the bats. That would be much more sensible than the current policy many government agencies have, that being to close every cave on gov't land whether it has an active bat population or not.

We also removed a small bag of garbage, including a large, plastic storage tub. I do wish folks would quit trashing that cave up!

Here is a link to some photos of our trip: http://s1163.photobucket.com/user/gadsdengrotto/library/Weaver%20Cave?sort=3&page=1

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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby MacklinC » Oct 15, 2014 12:19 am

I'm sure you all believe you are experts when it comes to all things Weaver cave, because many do. But, let me enlighten you. The current owner of Weaver Cave is my father. He is the founder and president of Seeds of Abraham Ministries which is a non-profit christian organization. When he bought the cave he had plans of building a Christian retreat on the property. As one would guess he needed capital, Lots of it. So, he let a company clear off some land that was going to be needed to be cleared anyway once construction started. Unfortunately, he has had to fight through a lot of red tape in the city the cave actually resides in. (Anniston) He has repeatedly told the city of Weaver repeatedly he does not wish to sell, but to apease them he hit them with the rather large sum of $330,000 because the city has no way of producing that money so they would leave him be. As for trespassing, I would not go anywhere near the place. It is very prone to cave ins and if spotted you will be considered a vandal and I believe it to be very likely that he will press charges. If anyone as anymore wild accusations I will gladly tell you what I can.
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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby graveleye » Oct 15, 2014 9:17 am

I'm pretty sure you're not going to find any vandals here on this forum.

I sense some hostility here, but I am not understanding where it is coming from. I'm not seeing any wild accusations, or accusations at all. What they care about is the cave and the bats, and I guarantee these folks here would put a lot of sweat and effort into cleaning that cave up to it's natural beauty if given a chance to do so. We're a positive lot for the most part, and landowner relations are very important to us. I'm sure I'm speaking for most of us here, that if your dad needs any help with the cave, we're willing to do what we can.
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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby trogman » Oct 15, 2014 1:10 pm

MacklinC:
Check your Private Message box; I have sent you a message.


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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby BrianFrank » Oct 15, 2014 2:13 pm

MacklinC wrote:I'm sure you all believe you are experts when it comes to all things Weaver cave, because many do. But, let me enlighten you. The current owner of Weaver Cave is my father. He is the founder and president of Seeds of Abraham Ministries which is a non-profit christian organization. When he bought the cave he had plans of building a Christian retreat on the property. As one would guess he needed capital, Lots of it. So, he let a company clear off some land that was going to be needed to be cleared anyway once construction started. Unfortunately, he has had to fight through a lot of red tape in the city the cave actually resides in. (Anniston) He has repeatedly told the city of Weaver repeatedly he does not wish to sell, but to apease them he hit them with the rather large sum of $330,000 because the city has no way of producing that money so they would leave him be. As for trespassing, I would not go anywhere near the place. It is very prone to cave ins and if spotted you will be considered a vandal and I believe it to be very likely that he will press charges. If anyone as anymore wild accusations I will gladly tell you what I can.


A Christian organization???
- "I'm sure you all believe you are experts...But let me enlighten you."
- "...if spotted you will be considered a vandal...". "press charges."
- "If anyone as anymore wild accusations....."

MacklinC, I think you misunderstand us, we are the good guys :shrug:
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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby MacklinC » Oct 15, 2014 4:56 pm

There's no hostility I just want you all to understand that the cave is private property. Imagine you stumbled across a forum discussing your home. It would feel very strange to see complete strangers speaking on what should be done with your home, what it's worth, and the last time they went exploring through it. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. My family is really growing tired of it. I understand you are worried for the cave, but it's just not your responsibility. As for my father I'd rather not give out any of his contact information,
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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby Phil Winkler » Oct 15, 2014 8:52 pm

Good points, Macklin. Just keep in mind that many of us are here to help if needed. We really are the good guys where caves are concerned and we will be glad to assist with anything to preserve the cave.
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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby CaverScott » Oct 16, 2014 7:36 am

MacklinC - Here is set of photos from a few years ago when we spent our own money, time, and energy to clean up both caves (Lady and Weaver).
We went so far as to rent a roll away dumpter so we could haul off all the debris that was collected.
I can only hope either this was done before you Father purchased the cave or it was done with his permission since I know the organizers and they are all very respectful of all cave owners.
The NSS and its members care about the caves, the critters, and the landowners. :cave softly:

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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby graveleye » Oct 16, 2014 8:30 am

Wow Scott, that is quite a haul of trash!!

We did something similar at the heavily vandalized White River Cave over here in Georgia. The landowner had just bought the property and wanted it cleaned up and gated. We even cleaned one large room of all the graffiti. That was gratifying and the owner was happy with our efforts. The cave was a hotspot for kids to drink and do drugs and spray paint, and now it is home to one of the largest bat populations in Georgia.

MacklinC, I am sure it is unsettling to see people talking about your cave, but please don't let us intimidate or make you uncomfortable. As cavers, we're always on your side as a landowner. We're the ones who will pick up the trash, run off the druggies and drunks and vandals, and look out for your property. However, if you consider the cave closed, then we will have it put on our closed cave list (if it is not already on there). The flip side of having your cave closed is that the true vandals and trespassers won't get the message, or won't care about your property and go there anyway. The only ones who will stay away will be the good guys.
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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby CaverScott » Oct 16, 2014 8:42 am

Yes, indeed. It was a really good effort. That door was solid metal and very, very heavy. Lots of concrete blocks too. I find those caves rather unique considering the surrounding lack of Karst.
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Re: Weaver, AL mayor is interested in purchasing Weaver Cave

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Oct 17, 2014 1:33 pm

MacklinC wrote:There's no hostility I just want you all to understand that the cave is private property. Imagine you stumbled across a forum discussing your home. It would feel very strange to see complete strangers speaking on what should be done with your home, what it's worth, and the last time they went exploring through it. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. My family is really growing tired of it. I understand you are worried for the cave, but it's just not your responsibility. As for my father I'd rather not give out any of his contact information,


Rest assured that the SKTF (SERA Karst Task Force) would have never done a cleanup there without permission from the landowner, so your father, if he was the owner at the time would have to have granted permission for cavers to be there and to do the cleanup. I even went a step further and pulled out the SKTF documents where the landowner (who at your request I will not name) even gave permission for the cleanup. The SKTF worked directly with the Gadsden Grotto on this project and there were two cleanups there about five years ago. The SKTF is very strict and has specific procedures that they follow and all of the others are right, cavers are the ones you want to have helping as we are your allies. We care about the cave and want to see it cleaned up and taken care of for generations to come.

I am sure you are aware that one of the biggest problems with the cave is that it is a roadside cave and there are too many entrances to gate. This makes it far too easy for vandals and those who do not care about the cave to go in and destroy it.

Along with the documents where the SKTF was granted permission were also the stats from that cleanup. The second cleanup occured on February 7, 2010. There were 22 volunteers who hauled out over 20 bags of trash. This inludes 110 volunteer hours worked during the cleanup and over 1,200 miles traveled by volunteers to make it a successful event. :clap:
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