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"Since 1986, dedicated to the conservation and protection of our underground resources."

ROBBER BARON PRESERVE

Robber Baron Cave Open House Saturday, April 9, 2016 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM



Robber Baron Cave is an extensive maze cave with numerous interconnecting passages. The cave is in a highly urbanized area and has been regularly visited for the last century including a period when it was operated commercially.  As a result the cave has been heavily impacted including many areas of vandalism and graffiti.
Photo by Jim Jasek.

Robber Baron Cave is one of the most significant of the over 500 Bexar County (San Antonio), TX caves.  It is the longest known cave in the county with 5340 feet (1627.5 m) of mapped passages.  This cave has many interesting features including a large sinkhole entrance, a geologically complex two-dimensional maze of passages, a rich history, and several unique species, which live only underground.

Robber Baron Cave probably has an origin related to the Edwards Aquifer, even though the cave is in the Austin Chalk limestone.  Biological studies have discovered several blind invertebrate species found nowhere else on Earth.  In December 2001, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed two of these species as endangered.  The cave is also the only one in the county that has been open to the public as a tourist attraction, when from 1923 to 1933 an estimated 300,000 people toured the cave.  As San Antonio grew, the cave became part of a densely urbanized area and subject to problems of vandalism, graffiti, and unauthorized visitation.

Acquired by TCMA in 1995, Robber Baron is now protected as a karst resource, to not only preserve its unique biology, geology and history, but also to provide a place where people can learn about and experience the underground environment.

The Great Southwest Passage � the tallest passage in the cave.
Photo by George Veni

�Robbers� hiding out in Robber Baron in this promotional photo from 1923.
Photo by Harvey Patteson.

How You Can Help

If you are interested in helping us protect and maintain this unique and special part of San Antonio, please consider volunteering with the Friends of Robber Baron or by donating to TCMA to help maintain the Preserve.  To receive announcements of project opportunities or to join the Fields of Robber Baron, please email joemitchell@tcmacaves.org or mike.harris@tcmacaves.org.

Donations may be made online through Paypal (a Paypal account is not required.)

Donate Now

Alternatively, checks may be mailed to Texas Cave Management Association, P.O. Box 7427, Austin, TX 78713. Please indicate the check is in support of Robber Baron Preserve.

TCMA is a 501c3 organization so all donations are tax deductible.

Panorama of the Graffiti Room.
Photo by Jim Jasek.

Preserve Manager: Joe Mitchell

Assistant Preserve Manager: Mike Harris

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