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Comments Received via Email

        Below are some of the comments received at our email address.  If you would like to post a comment here, please email it to: SaveOurCave@yahoo.com.  Please note that comments will not be posted if they contain vulgar or obscene language, or personal attacks on individuals.


I am deeply concerned about the barring off of the Natural Bridge cave..  I have been visiting this cave since I was a small child.  I have been bringing my own family to the area, as well.  Only two of my four children have been able to enjoy the natural beauty of this cave.  So many places are being destroyed by development. PLEASE don't take away what is being protected in the parks.  My husband and I, on many occasions, talk about how lucky we are to be in such close range, to places like Natural Bridge and Mammoth cave.  It is a way that we can vacation with our family, without going miles away....and truly see magnificent natural beauty!  So please let us continue to enjoy these things for generations to come.
J.J., Cincinnati, OH


I was appalled when I read about the gating off access to the cave at Natural Bridge.
I had hoped to someday take my daughter there as my father took me about 50 years ago.
This seems to be just a part of the theory rammed on us by people from groups like the Sierra Club.  The movement is akin to "letting the earth heal from the encroachment by visitors to the park."

D.B., Frankfort, KY


To whom it may concern,
I just got back from my annual visit to Natural Bridge State Park. Me,
along with the rest of the men in my family have been going down to
Whittleton's camp ground, the same 2 spots every year, the week after the
4th of July for the last 15 years or so. Since I was 10.
Every year we take a hike up to the bridge and take a photo under the big
shelter up there. Along the way, we walk thru the cave. For 15 years we've
been doing this.
I've never seen anyone vandalize it, urinate in it, deface it in anyway.
Obviously, this happens. I have my own opinion on how to stop it, but I'm
no expert.
As for the bats... I just don't know what to say about that. Seriously?
They's rather have their own little colony of bats than have people come in
and enjoy their park? I don't buy it. If they cared so much for the bats,
they'd put them in a bit more remote area than in the middle of hiking
trails filled with people that scare off potential bat meals. It is the one
area of that park where people are/should be encouraged to roam.
This is just the beginning of the down fall of Natural Bridge in my eyes.
What's next? A gate on the bridge?
If this is a way to get people to pay to see this stuff, good luck. I know
me and the 10 others I go to the park with will just find somewhere else.
We love it down there, but part of what we love is the freedom, the price,
the scenery, the bridge, the CAVE. If they don't watch out, they will begin
to alienate their supporters. So, if this is going to be taken away, why
would we continue to come down? I know our camp ground is even about to get
in on the suppression. The best site at the place, one we reserve a
year in advance to make sure we have it, is in the group that is supposed
to be strictly for RVs. We are natural campers that believe in just a tent
and minimal electricity. I do believe if this site goes, we go too. I hate
to see what is happening so unnecessarily down there. The powers that be may
think they are making more money, but its not going to be off us anymore.
I always tell people about the park down in Slade, KY. Some know of it,
some don't, but I make sure to let those that don't know, that they are
missing out. Well, now there's one less reason to go. How many more will
there be next year?
So, however it goes, sign me up. I'm against the blocking of the cave and
any other scheme to try and bank off mother nature or use her as an excuse
to charge to see it.

P.O., Dayton, OH


This is the most attractive addition to the park so far. It will even get better when rust eventually leaches down and stains the rocks below. Not!

S.A., Mt. Sterling, KY


I am very disappointed in the closing of the cave at Natural bridge State Park. I have visited the park on numerous occasions in the past but now I am forced to make other arrangements due to its closing. Its a sad day when our government and its regulators think that by erecting that obscene steel and iron structure that they are actually doing good to help our park. Get a grip. I will no longer support their effort to deface this historic landmark.  Are these the same bars you have in your state prisons? I wouldn't know, but I'm sure not going to spend my hard earned money to come see. Thank you for making my decision to vacation elsewhere.

D.B., Middletown, OH


Please don’t cage our Natural Bridge Cave.  It is much too beautiful and wonderful to cage.  The cage is an ugly addition to the whole park.

C.C., Mount Sterling, KY


I can not believe that in this day and time that any state employee thinks they have the right to make decisions about locking us, their employers, out of any part of our State Parks. I have an email stating very clearly that the public would have access to the cave. I WAS LIED TO!!! To buy time to gate the cave CLOSED FOREVER they told me what I wanted to hear. What’s next??? To reintroduce the Black Bear or Mountain Lion back into Kentucky then fence off the entire park?? At least the Black Bear is indigenous to Kentucky; why is this one cave so important to the Virginia Bat that doesn't even live in the cave to begin with??? Who is running our State Parks? Is it the same people the "Locked Down" the Ohio State Parks? If the Kentucky State Parks Department doesn't want us, the tax paying public, to enjoy our "Public Lands" then why don't they just close all the lodges, all the trails, all the camp grounds, fire all Park Rangers and just hire the Border patrol to keep us out?? Natural Bridge Cave is "our" cave, not some small group. The cave belongs to the people of Kentucky not the Bat Lovers Of Virginia!! What happed to "Due Process"? Why are the liars allowed to "Rule" over us? Was democracy overturned? If the only voting I get to do is with my money then I refuse to spend a single dime at any State Park.


D.W., Mt. Sterling, KY




Borrowing the words from our former/late President Reagan who said it best when he said, "...TEAR DOWN THAT WALL..."  I believe in protecting the bats, but I also think we need to look for alternative ways to protect the bats that would do the job just as well.  What is the value of having a resource if it is not used.  Is it something to be worshiped at a distance.  I once read, "A church that is dead will cost you nothing."  So, maybe the same thought applies to the cave--without people in it, it will cost us nothing.  How much expense went into barring the cave?  What IF we had used that same money for the minimal upkeep of the cave?  What IF we asked the people their opinions for maintaining the cave?  Is it that people who had control just did not want to be bothered?
Sometimes, we make mistakes in life.  But, we can admit we made a mistake and open the cave.  There must be a solution for the Cave that benefits everyone.


P.S., Mt. Sterling, KY




My family and I just returned from our annual campout at Natural Bridge.  I was very disappointed to find the cave had been blocked off from public access.  My sons and I have been going thru the cave on a little exploration since they were old enough to walk.  Before going this year they were making plans for our cave explorations for days.  Although we probably only spend an hour in the cave, it seems to be what they remember most.  So when we started out for our hike they made sure to get their new headlamps and gear for our time in the cave.  We were all crushed to find access had been closed. 
Among many other reasons which have been stated in other comments the closing the cave seems to be counter productive when our state is pushing adults and kids to be more active and healthy.  This cave offered an opportunity for people to get out and active and connect with nature.  It helped get kids interested in the outdoors, instead of playing video games or watching television.     
I question the need for this particular cave in saving these bats.  As stated by other replies there seem to be plenty caves in the area.  Furthermore;  I don't know if it was a big eared Virginia bat but there was a bat living in the laundry area of the campground.  If they can live there they certainly can live without our governments protection.  If they can't then maybe we need to put a large metal gate in front of the washing and vending machines.  Feel free to contact me it there is anything I can do to help.
S.D., Winchester, KY



I was one of the contractors involved in construction of the gate at Natural Bridge Caverns.  On the subject of the ACCA I can say that their involvement was in the design of that type of gate the ACCA design.  I believe the ACCA's comment to the phone they recieved from saveourcave was that they only provide a service.  Their servivce was the gate designs. The design was studied in an air chamber by a Nasa scientist and you are right there is minimal to non-detect airflow disturbance, not neccessary zero.  The climate in the cave is acceptable to habitat to the Virginia Big Eared and has been studied by one of Kentucky's premiere bat biologist.  They have been spotted in the cave now for several years not in great numbers as most (not all) sites in Kentucky.  And yes slight distubance during the hiburnation period is enough cause death or abandonment of the site.

 As far as the size of the opening it is the normal size opening for a bat gate, I do agree that it should of had a larger opening given the location at an open state park.

 For more specific information on Bats go to http://www.batcon.org  Bat Conservation International

 I hope this helps a little, if you have any more questions please email me.

 J.L., TX



What a disappointment…one of my favorite places to visit while at Red River Gorge is the cave on the way up to Natural Bridge.  Bragging about it for 2 hours to my friends, I drug them to the spot to only find it barricaded!  I was so upset and disappointed and angry that this had been done without any notification or a reason why.  I have not seen any change in graffiti and never any trash in the cave.  Many times that I was there, I saw very few people.  Once, I saw a couple from San Francisco which I thought was amazing that they came all that way to see this wonderful area of the country.


Please let me know what I can do to help!


B.P., Cincinnati, OH




Hey, I'm from Louisville, Kentucky.  I'm 14 years old and I was just recently at Natural Bridge and Torrent Falls.  2 years ago I was at Natural Bridge with my boyscout troop and we visited the caves.  We really enjoyed them.  When I came back I saw the barrier.  I was really mad because I was telling the new guys how cool it was and how much I enjoyed it up there.  I was hoping to go in there again and show them how neat and cool it was in there.  I mean I can understand with all the saving nature type things, but that ruins peoples fun when they can't go in there.  I mean you just hiked up the bridge in the heat and then your going to sit in this nice cool cave and its blocked off.  I hated that so much.  I really hope you guys can help get the bars off the cave and people will be able to enjoy themselves again.  I wish you the best of luck.


D.B., Louisville, KY