Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve is open!

StephenAlvarez3 - permission granted

The Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. is excited to announce that our Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve is now open for visitation! Under an access agreement with the owner of the property crossed by the hiking trail to the preserve, SCCi is now issuing permits to visit this unique place. Permit requests can be completed electronically; details are available on the Stephens Gap preserve web page. Visitors will need to complete and return a liability waiver and the Clean Caving Questionnaire with their permit request, and place the issued permit on the dashboard of your parked vehicle while you are visiting the preserve. Permit requests and questions about the permit process should be emailed to the preserve managers at stephensgap@scci.org.

SCCi purchased Stephens Gap Cave last December, protecting it forever! But we need to raise $150,000 to cover our acquisition and stewardship costs; will you help? You can make a secure online donation today at http://www.scci.org/support/. You can “buy” an honorary piece of Stephens Gap Cave, join SCCi as a regular or sustaining member, increase your current sustaining contribution level, or make a one-time donation. SCCi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; your donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

If you’ve already made a donation in support of SCCi’s acquisition of Stephens Gap, thank you!

Not ready to join as a member or make a financial contribution, but want to stay connected with SCCi? By providing us with your contact information, you can stay informed about exciting SCCi news and announcements!

Ron Miller
Chair
Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc.

Photo ©Stephen Alvarez. Used with permission.

Hollow Ridge Preserve gets new gates!

The Gating of Hollow Ridge Cave: A SCCi Preserve

Allen, Kristen and Uriah at entrance #1 gate with lock

Allen, Kristen and Uriah at entrance #1 gate with lock

On December 5-7, 2014 a group of cavers met to gate Hollow Ridge Cave in Jackson County, Florida. This was necessary because the county was in the process of building hiking trails just downhill of the bluff line where the lower cave entrances are located. The gates were constructed to keep out vandals and to keep people from getting lost in the cave which contains 3400’ of surveyed passage. There are also rare cave fauna that need protection.

Kristin Bobo designed the cave gates and provided her expertise in installation. Her Assistant, Uriah Pryor, cut the steel. The hauling group consisted of Allen Mosler, Bufford Pruitt, and Tevis Kouts. Tiffiny Kouts, Terrin Kouts, and D’Ann Mosler ran errands. Guy Yates helped return some of the equipment to Tallahassee.

It took three days to build four gates. The gate at Entrance 1 (with lock) was located at the upper entrance and is 3’x8’ in size. The gates at Entrance 2 were located 70’ inside the entrance and are 3’x3’ and 6’x2.5’ at the flood plain level. Entrance Gates 3 & 4 were placed 30’ inside the cave and block three of the mid-bluff entrances. It took about a day and a half to build each gate. The process was Kristen would measure for the needed steel, Uriah would cut the steel, and someone would carry the steel to the gate and help Kristen with the installation. The gates were impressive being made from 6”x6”x3/8” and 4”x4”x3/8” angle iron. They look bullet-proof.

In addition to the people above who provided their time and talent, I would like to thank the following grottos and cavers that made donations: Flint River Grotto, Florida Speleological Society, Middle Georgia Grotto, River City Grotto, Tamps Bay Area Grotto, Paul Aughey, Matt Fisher, Jerry Johnson, Kitty Markley, Roger Moore, Allen Mosler, Steve Nemeth, Ed Pratt, Larry Rueff, and Philip Walker. Donations of over $4000 were made that covered about 60% of the cost of building the gates. The extra steel was taken to Gainesville by Bufford Pruitt to be used in the reconstruction of Warrens Cave gate, a NSS Preserve.

This hard-working and generous group of cavers made this project a success…thank you.

Allen Mosler

Property Manager, Hollow Ridge Cave

Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc.

 

Update on Stephens Gap Cave Preserve Access

As most of you probably are aware, in December, SCCi purchased a property containing Stephens Gap Cave, Pipeside Pit and three other known caves in Jackson County, Alabama.

Unfortunately, working out an access agreement with the new owner of the land between the county road and SCCi’s property boundary near Pipeside Pit is taking longer than anticipated. The trail to the cave goes through this neighbor’s property, and he has asked that we not allow visitors to cross his property until an agreement is in place.

We apologize for the delay in opening the preserve to visitation; however, we are hopeful that we will be able to come up with an access solution that works for all parties in the near future.

We’ll keep you posted here and at our website of any changes. Until then, please respect the property rights of our neighbor and postpone any planned visits to the Stephens Gap Cave Preserve for now. SCCi appreciates your patience as we work out these access issues.

Buy a Piece of Stephens Gap eStore Active!

Stephens Gap Cave. Photo by Lynn Roebuck (https://www.flickr.com/photos/caving).

Stephens Gap Cave. Photo by Lynn Roebuck (https://www.flickr.com/photos/caving).

We are happy to announce that the Buy a Piece of Stephens Gap Cave Preserve eStore is now active. Named features are first come, first served so don’t delay if you have one in mind!

Follow this link to see what features are still available or to reserve a slice of the Pit or Walkdown Entrances.
(Please note that this will take you to a secure site off of the SCCi.org website.)
PURCHASE A PIECE OF STEPHENS GAP HERE

The SCCi Buys Stephens Gap!

Stephens Gap Cave Alabama

Stephens Gap Cave, photo by Alan Cressler

Stephens Gap is one of the most beloved caves in the southeast, with a beautiful pit that cavers love and a huge walk-in entrance that draws hikers, photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts. The SCCi is very excited to announce that we now own this fantastic cave! Located in the heart of Jackson County, AL, the Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve is our 30th cave preserve! By purchasing this beautiful cave, the SCCi will ensure that it’s protected and preserved for future generations of cavers, hikers, and photographers. This purchase was not cheap. We need to raise $150,000 to cover the land costs, closing costs, and the funding needed to care for the cave in to the future. If you enjoy visiting Stephens Gap, or would like to visit it in the future, please join us in establishing our newest, and likely one of our most popular, preserves! Thank you for your support.

Help us preserve and protect this beautiful cave! 
Details coming soon about how you can buy your own honorary piece of this beautiful cave.