The Northeastern Cave Conservancy (NCC) announced today it is closing three of its caves for the winter, effective October 3, to protect hibernating bats in response to the continuing White Nose Syndrome crisis.
The affected caves are Knox Cave, Crossbones Cave, and Merlin's Cave all in New York State. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Knox and Crossbones will re-open in the spring. (Parking area, trail, and signage work still needs to be completed at Merlin's)
The other caves owned and managed by the NCC will remain open for visitation under regular visitation policies. Please note, at the Ella Armstrong Preserve use the new parking area at the preserve instead of the Knox parking lot.
Action by the NCC parallels that of the National Speleological Society, which is also closing its three New York cave preserves October 3 – Schoharie Caverns, Gage Cave (Barton Hill Preserve), and McFail’s Cave.
The NCC advises all cavers to clean and decontaminate their gear and clothing according to the protocols found on the US Fish and Wildlife web site. In addition, any gear and clothing used here should not be taken out of the region, in an effort to contain the disease.
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. The NCC owns and manages nine non-commercial caves in the northeast.