SCCi NEEDS YOUR HELP TO SAVE CYCLOPS CAVE
We have until May 1, 2020 to raise $150,000 to purchase and protect Cyclops Cave in Russell County, Virginia. The future preserve will constitute 66 acres. To date, the cave has been surveyed to 7.1 miles ranking it #126 on the US longest cave list and #11 on the Virginia longest cave list.
Recently, cavers have discovered trash, broken formations, disturbed rigging, and graffiti in the cave. Cyclops deserves better and with your help, SCCi can save Cyclops.
Cyclops Cave is located at the very edge of Virginia's Valley and Ridge Province, in an isolated karst valley called "Sinkhole Valley." A couple of other caves are known here, but Cyclops is by far the longest. This setting makes the cave very likely to have unique invertebrate cave fauna. The cave is home to cave-adapted amphipods, isopods, snails, mites, millipedes, pseudoscorpions, and diplurans. The dipluran is Litocampa pucketti, and is known globally from only a handful of caves along the boundary between the Clinch and New River basins.
The millipedes and pseudoscorpions are likely species that are very rare or new to science.
The cave also hosts fossils such as horn coral and plant fossils. There is still research to be conducted to gain a better understanding of input and drainage and the potential impacts to the nearby Clinch River. This research would provide the state of Virginia and municipalities with critical information to protect the karst environment and water quality in regards to future development.
Cyclops contains sporting climbs, tight spots, borehole, and miles of passage. There are outstanding formations and a lot of photographic potential. Cyclops has the possibility of holding additional surprises in the way of unsurveyed passage. It's a significant cave as well for this region given the current length of approximately 7.1 miles and the sinkhole valley in which it was formed has potential for additional discoveries.
Protecting and providing caver access to Cyclops will give additional cavers a chance to visit this resource. SCCi has more than 25 years’ experience balancing conservation with recreation.
If you prefer to donate by check please send to:
PO Box 250
Signal Mountain TN 37377
Please note on your check, the donation is for the saving Cyclops.