Cave bill not just fun and games |

Cave bill not just fun and games

State Rep. Gregg Rippy, R-Glenwood Springs, calls it his “fun bill” for this year’s legislative session.

But the bill being introduced by Rippy protecting the caves of Colorado is more than just fun, particularly for those in his home district.

Garfield County is the richest county in the state in caves, including three of the state’s five longest known cave systems: Groaning Cave, Fixin’ To Die Cave and Glenwood Caverns, which has become one of Glenwood Springs’ leading tourist attractions.

As one of two commercial caves in the state, Glenwood Caverns will undoubtedly receive some exposure through the promotion of the bill. The Glenwood Springs area also boasts dozens of other recreational caves in its massive limestone formations, including Hubbard Cave, Premonition Cave and one of the all-time best-named caves, 20-Pound Tick Cave.

While the bill will give Colorado some legal teeth when it comes to dealing with those who damage or vandalize caves, Rippy believes it will act in more of a preventative fashion than a legal one. The bill is aimed at educating people on the delicate ecosystem of caves.

Whether damaged by those who don’t know any better or through intentional acts of vandalism, caves are not a renewable resource.

Any damage done to a cave ” and it can be as little as wiping a greasy fingertip on the wall ” will take more than a lifetime to repair.

Education is the key to keeping Colorado’s unique cave ecosystem intact for generations, and this “fun bill” aimed at preserving a part of our recreational and natural resources should be met with a cheer from other state legislators.

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