Save the Caves - Old Spanish Treasure Cave

Save the Caves - Old Spanish Treasure Cave

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Paul Linscott
Paul Linscott signed this petition

This petition is to stop the proposed highway expansion on 59 between Gravette and Sulphur Springs. This is in reference to job #090558. In this proposed Highway expansion, the property known as the Old Spanish Treasure Cave will be affected. The proposed portion of the highway will/could be built on top of or interfering with the cave systems. The surveyed portion of the highway is that the property in front of the bluff line facing the highway in the lower flat part of the property may be compromised. There is at least one major water passage that goes under this portion of the property. I have dug holes and found other open areas along this property as well. Any water source in and by a cave system is an important part of the ecosystem of the cavern and must be protected. In this water passage and cave system there are several species of cave animals that must be taken into consideration and must be protected. When a water passage is compromised it could have devastating effects on the entire ecosystem of the cavern.

     We have a variety of animal life in the cavern, some on the threatened and some on the endangered list. This cavern host bats! We have a variety of bats that inhabit the cavern, most commonly is the Tricolored bat (formally known as the Eastern Pipistrelles). There are small colonies of other variety of bats that inhabit the cavern on occasion, mostly during the cooler parts of the year. I have identified the Ozark Long Eared Bat, Brown Bats and less frequently the Grey Bat. The bats are not the only animals that inhabit the cavern, we have a variety of other cave life as well including cave crayfish (Student from the U of A did a study on some the them and other cave animals for his doctrine), Isopods, several varieties of salamanders including the blind cave salamander, a type of cave silk worm, crickets, and a new species of microscopic cave snail found by a professor from the University of Colombia among others. Another concern is how any blasting would affect this cave system and another cave system located on the southside of the property going up the hill. This cave system is the Congo Crawl cave system. Any blasting on this bluff line could be devastating not only to the caves, animals, but we live here on the property as well. You must take into consideration of the historic log cabin on this property as well as the history of the cavern and property.
    
     This property known as the Old Spanish Treasure Cave hosts visitors from all over the country and is a well-known cave system. It is what is known as a" Natural Wonder" and is part of Arkansas whose theme is "The Natural State". I would also like to add that I have lived on the property over 24 years while the property across the road sits vacant and unused with no business, known cave or inhabitants. We are one of the very few natural tourist destinations in this part of Arkansas.