Giles County, VA
The property containing the two roadside entrances to Tawney's Cave has been in the Link family for generations. The Link family feels that they are fortunate to have such a superb natural treasure on their property and have always been happy to allow others to enjoy their cave. However, in recent years, the number of groups visiting Tawney's has increased dramatically. With that rise in traffic the number of individuals behaving irresponsibly on the property and in the cave has also increased. In addition, there has been a noticeable impact on the entrance slopes and also within the cave. Several incidents of vandalism on the Link's property finally led them to limit access to the cave, and ask local cavers about the possibility of a gate to deter unauthorized access.
The roadside entrances to Tawney?s were gated November 15th and 16th, 2003. To relieve traffic and disturbance on the Link?s property, A cave manager has agreed to manage the keys to the gate and allow cave visitors to park on his property.
The National Speleological Society (NSS) Conservation Policy:
Accordingly, the intention of the Society is to work for the preservation of caves with a realistic policy supported by effective programs for: the encouragement of self-discipline among cavers; education and research concerning the causes and prevention of cave damage; and special projects, including cooperation with other groups similarly dedicated to the conservation of natural areas. Specifically:
All contents of a cave -- formations, life, and loose deposits -- are significant for their enjoyment and interpretation. Therefore, caving parties should leave a cave as they find it. They should provide means for the removal of waste; limit marking to a few, small, and removable signs as are needed for surveys; and, especially, exercise extreme care not to accidentally break or soil formations, disturb life forms or unnecessarily increase the number of disfiguring paths through an area.
Scientific collection is professional, selective, and minimal. The collecting of mineral or biological material for display purposes, including previously broken or dead specimens, is never justified, as it encourages others to collect and destroy the interest of the cave.
The Society encourages projects such as:
Where there is reason to believe that publication of cave locations will lead to vandalism before adequate protection can be established, the Society will oppose such publication.
For more information on cave conservation, check out the NSS web page at: http://www.caves.org/
For more information on the Virginia Cave Protection Act see: http://www.dcr.state.va.us/dnh/vcpa.htm
Cave Conservation Links
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