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Rogers Belmont Cave

The Mid-Atlantic Karst Conservancy, Inc., is pleased to announce the lease of a long-closed cave in Virginia, Rogers Belmont Cave. Thanks to the work of Board Member Jeff Jahn, the cave, which was physically closed, is now accessible once again. Preserve manager will be members of the Front Royal Grotto. The grotto, as well as Jeff, hold life memberships in MAKC, and the conservancy hopes this will be a long and fruitful relationship for all parties, including the owners. More details will be announced at the MAKC Board meeting, to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 21 at Skyline Caverns. Virginia area cavers (and all interested) are invited to attend, learn about the project, and meet the MAKC Board.

Jeff brought this project to the attention of the MAKC Board more than two years ago, and has been one of the key personnel involved in negotiating the lease. As with all of our leases, the MAKC will not own the property, but merely retains the right to manage the cave and karst area. All of our leased properties are covered under our liability insurance—no small part of our operating budget. Donations to help offset the cost of insurance—often an issue in cave closures—are greatly appreciated. Even a continued regular $15 membership helps pay for insurance, as well as other operating costs.

The management plan, prepared by Jeff and approved by the owner, is now on our website, www.karst.org. Please read the plan carefully before approaching the grotto regarding access to the cave. Jeff also notes that the opportunity to access the cave will come from connecting the main cave system from the new entrance and which will require some level of digging until that can occur. The original blasted shut entrance needs to remain closed and will be off limits (at least for now).