The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
page 05  [contents] (< prev) (next >)
 vol. 40. iss. 1, December 2005

Great Salpetre Cave Preserve Cavers Receive November PRIDE Award. In April 2005, a cleanup of Rockcastle County’s Pine Hill Cave yielded 55 bags of garbage, and led to an award for the cave groups involved. To quote the PRIDE Web site:
The November PRIDE Volunteer of the Month was a group of spelunkers who volunteer as stewards of the Great Salt Petre Cave Preserve. The group’s members, who live across Kentucky and Ohio, were recognized for cleaning Rockcastle County’s Pine Hill cave. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-5) presented the award to two representatives of the volunteer group, Thor H. Bahrman III and Deb Bledsoe.
These spelunkers made a rather unique contribution to the PRIDE initiative,” said Richard Thomas, PRIDE executive director. “They went down in Pine Hill cave and pulled out the trash that had accumulated there. This was an important project because caves feed streams and groundwater, ultimately impacting our sources of drinking water. In addition, caves are part of the unique, natural resources that we enjoy and that attract tourists to our region.”
The spelunkers worked about four hours to remove 55 bags of trash from the cave in April. The garbage had been thrown or washed into the cave over time. James Renner, the Rockcastle County PRIDE Coordinator, nominated the club for special recognition. “It was a cool and extremely wet day,”

“They were covered in mud and had to pass the trash out of the cave in buckets.”
The spelunkers who participated in the cleanup were members of five local chapters, or “grottos,” of the National Speleological Society, which explores and conserves cave and karst resources across the country. The local grottos maintain the 300-acre Great Salt Petre Cave Preserve in Rockcastle County.” Source:

PRIDE stands for Personal Responsibility In a Desirable Environment, and is an influential Eastern KY nonprofit organization, the water and waste
cleanup is brainchild of Rep. Hal Rogers and the late James Bickford (then-Secretary of KY’s Environment Cabinet).
Bat Killing Spree & Water Quality Testing in Caves.  The early November discovery of the bat kills by paint-ball in Sinks of the Roundstone Cave has led to a new initiative among cavers, grottoes, the Rockcastle Karst Conservancy, and PRIDE, to be announced soon. Contact Deb Bledsoe at for information about this new project, and to find out how to train as a water quality monitor for your favorite cave waterway.

Web Sites of Interest to Cave and Karst Conservationists. Please send in your favorites.
Rockcastle Karst Conservancy
KEEP (Karst Environmental Education & Protection Inc):  ACCA (American Cave Conservation Association): Kentucky Speleological Survey (KSS):  KICK 66: Bat Conservation International (BCI):  Bat World: