Avery Ranch Cave Press Release
Texas’ oldest cave conservancy acquires new preserve in suburban Austin area
AUSTIN, Texas (Dec. 18, 2015) – The Texas Cave Management Association Inc. today acquired Avery Ranch Cave in Williamson County, ensuring that this unique underground resource in suburban Austin will continue to be preserved.
Texas Cave Management Association (TCMA), the state’s oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the study and management of Texas cave resources, closed on the property following negotiations that began this summer.
“We are very excited about the strategic acquisition of Avery Ranch Cave for TCMA,” said John P. Brooks, TCMA president, of Dallas. “Avery Ranch, located in a densely populated urban area, will provide exceptional opportunities for educational programs showcasing these important underground cave resources as well as community outreach to engage residents in our conservation efforts.”
Discovered in 2001 by contractors excavating a sewer line with a rock trencher at a housing subdivision in far North Austin, Avery Ranch Cave had no existing surface entrance and was in pristine condition when cave explorers entered it for the first time. The cave received continued protection through gating its entrance and fencing the surrounding property.
Founded in 1986 as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, TCMA was the first organization in Texas dedicated to the preservation of caves and our underground resources. TCMA owns nine cave preserves across Central and Southwest Texas, including Robber Baron Cave in San Antonio, Ezells Cave in San Marcos and the Punkin and Deep Cave Preserve in Edwards County.
Avery Ranch Cave was acquired from the Texas Cave Conservancy, which had first worked with landowners, state regulators and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to gate the entrance and protect the resource. Hundreds of Austin area residents have visited the cave over the years. TCMA plans to continue and accelerate this community outreach.
TCMA is one of 34 land trusts in Texas directly involved in protecting land for its natural, recreational, scenic, historical or productive value. Statewide, TCMA is affiliated with the Texas Land Trust Council, Texas Speleological Association and Texas Speleological Survey. Nationally, TCMA is affiliated with the Land Trust Alliance, National Speleological Society and Bat Conservation International.