The Northeastern Cave Conservancy (NCC) announced today it has become the owner of Onesquethaw Cave, a popular and significant cave in the Town of New Scotland, Albany County.
The ownership took place as the result of a property transfer authorized by the Albany County Legislature on March 13, 2011, moving ownership from the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC) to the Northeastern Cave Conservancy.
“We are extremely pleased to assume responsibility for the preservation of this unique and significant cave,” said Robert Addis, NCC President. “Our long relationship with the MHLC and this cave made this a natural transition.”
Since 1998, the NCC has managed the Onesquethaw Cave Preserve for the MHLC. The cave features a sinking stream entrance and nearly a mile of cave passage. The cave is open to the public for visitation on a permit-only system. Details of the Preserve and permit process are available on the NCC website.
With the addition of Onesquethaw Cave, the NCC now owns six cave preserves, with a total of twelve caves on the properties. Onesquethaw Cave is open year-round, subject to permit conditions. As a sinking stream cave, it is subject to periodic flooding. This cave structure also makes the cave unsuitable for bats, which means it is unaffected by White Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed upwards of a million bats in the eastern United States.
Some of the other NCC caves are also open year-round. The remainder, those affected by White Nose Syndrome and containing hibernating bats, will re-open May 15, after all the bats have emerged for the season.
The NCC continues to advise all cavers in the Northeast to follow U.S. Fish and Wildlife cleaning and disinfecting protocols for all clothing and equipment used in area caves, and to not take any of this gear outside the region. See the NCC website for further information.
The Northeastern Cave Conservancy is committed to the conservation, study, management, and acquisition of caves and karst areas having significant geological, hydrological, biological, recreational, historical, or aesthetic features.
Appendix: Albany County legislative resolution.