As we got here to the one identified entrance of Honey Creek Cave in Comal County, we had been immediately transported again 200 years — to a time when there have been no vehicles, no trendy buildings and little or no air pollution. There is even a crystal-clear, babbling spring.
In this meteorologist’s opinion, Honey Creek Ranch is a slice of paradise.
The privately-owned land has just lately been positioned underneath a conservation easement, which is a voluntary settlement by the landowner that limits the usage of the land in an effort to defend it from the destructive impacts of growth.
The greater than 600 acres of pristine land sit on prime of Honey Creek Cave, the biggest cave system in Texas.
Several miles of underground river emerge from the ranch’s namesake and is the first supply of water for Honey Creek, which is a tributary to the Guadalupe River.
The cave additionally serves as a conduit to the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers.
The land and the doorway to the cave are usually not accessible to the general public. However, members of Bexar Grotto and skilled cavers have been exploring and surveying the cave with the permission of the landowners for greater than 40 years.
It was with this educated group that KSAT meteorologists got entry to Honey Creek Cave — to see the land and the water now protected by the conservation easement.
In order to work our method by means of the cave, we wanted just a few issues:
Wetsuits & boat cushions: the water’s a cold 68°, so the wetsuits saved us heat. It would have been extraordinarily exhausting to swim for a number of hours, so the boat cushions acted as floatation gadgets. Water in components of the cave is greater than 20 toes deep!
Helmets with headlamps: to guard our heads from the jagged ceiling of the cave and to assist us see the place we had been going.
Kneepads & gloves: to guard ourselves once we needed to squeeze into tight areas all through the cave. At one level there was solely 4 inches of air above our heads!
In our 3+ hour swim by means of the cave, we might see precisely why this land is being protected.
Honey Creek Ranch is house to a number of endangered and threatened species, together with the golden-cheeked warbler, which was noticed on this journey. So, too, was a Texas blind salamander.
This is just not the primary time land on this space has acquired a conservation easement.
In 1981, the Nature Conservancy acquired 1,825 acres in Comal Country. That acreage was transferred to Texas Parks and Wildlife to create a 2,294-acre Honey Creek State Natural Area. There has been a push to make the most of extra conservation easements throughout the county.
EDITORS NOTE: Special due to: Geary Schindel, former president of the National Speleological Society; Kurt Menking, Bexar Grotto member & cave fanatic; Adam Higgins, KSAT Photojournalist; John Ok. Young, cave fanatic and videographer
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