| Home |
The planned gating of Natural Bridge Cave was not advertised. The plan was "accidentally" discovered by one of the founders of SaveOurCave who then brought it to the attention of friends and the media. The original reason given for the closure of this cave - protection of endangered bats - was accurate and true. But as things progressed, members of SaveOurCave and the press were seldom told the truth.
In late 2007, about nine months before the cave was gated, the State Parks Commissioner (during the Fletcher administration) told us that once the barriers were installed, all that would be required to enter the cave was to go to Hemlock Lodge and fill out a brief identification form. When this was done, the visitor would be given a code which could be entered into a keypad at the cave entrance to unlock the gate. He further explained that to exit the cave, the visitor would merely enter the same code into a keypad on the inside of the gate. This turned out not to be true!
We were led to believe that the gate on the cave barrier would be some manner of normal door, which anyone could easily walk through. This turned out not to be true! (The "door" that was actually installed was only 14.4 inches high, allowing only the fittest and thinnest of visitors to squeeze through.)
We were told that, except for the few months out of the year when bats are hibernating, Park visitors (after obtaining the code) would be allowed to freely enter the cave. This turned out not to be true!
We were told that when visitors would be allowed in the cave, there would be no charge for this access. This turned out not to be true!
In the fall of 2007, a member of SaveOurCave volunteered to remove the worst of the graffiti which had been on the walls of the cave for years. He was not allowed to do so, but instead was told that Park personnel would remove it that winter, long before the cave was gated. This turned out not to be true!
When Park officials were confronted by the media asking why the cave was being closed, they were told that is was being trashed so heavily by Park visitors that it was having to be cleaned daily. This turned out not to be true!
We were told, during meetings with Park officials, that the money to pay for the barriers was being donated by a bat conservation organization. This turned out not to be true! (Two years later we are now learning that the cave was closed with our tax dollars. See this link: http://www.naturepreserves.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/B60BF7AE-C655-4336-B260-9A487D67F934/0/Natky61_Winter2009.pdf)
No society can long endure unless it has honest government!