About the WVCC

The West Virginia Cave Conservancy, Inc., (WVCC) is a volunteer, nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation, chartered in West Virginia. Donations are tax-deductible!

The WVCC was formed in 1997 to preserve caves and karst features, and preserve access to caves and karst features, in West Virginia. The formation of WVCC was necessitated by increasing pressures on West Virginia karst areas; due in part to population growth, and increased liability concerns on the part of landowners.

WVCC’s approach to conserving cave resources has been multifaceted, including hands-on clean-ups, providing talks about caves and karst to civic groups, creating and distributing educational materials, recommending legislation, and managing and acquiring caves.

Specifically, WVCC members have cleaned up old trash dumps in a number of sinkholes and cave entrances. Members have also given talks and cave tours to different civic and conservation groups. A member spearheaded a successful effort to have protections against landowner liability due to caving activities included in West Virginia’s Code §19-25, sometimes known as the “sportsman law.”

Members have also created two new brochures that provide information about caves to people living in karst areas. One brochure, titled “Got Caves? We Can Help,” conveys to landowners the importance of protecting caves, and lists the ways that WVCC can help the landowner. Another brochure, titled “Living on Karst” is a general educational brochure that informs people about the development of caves, why caves are worth protecting, and the importance of good practices to avoid groundwater pollution in karst areas.

To protect significant caves, and access to them, WVCC has acquired cave properties, and developed management agreements with other cave owners. We are pleased to protect a number of important caves in this way. We currently own 12 cave preserves, and manage 4 additional cave preserves for other owners. We are especially pleased to own two entrances to West Virginia’s newest 50-mile cave, the Great Savannah Cave System! In addition, the Persinger Entrance Preserve provides access to the 15 miles of Benedict’s Cave, and the Wildcat Entrance Preserve provides access to the 20 miles in the Culverson Creek System.

In West Virginia, our cave preserves stretch from Berkeley County, West Virginia, in the eastern panhandle; to Monroe County, West Virginia, in the southeast corner of the state. We even own two caves that were donated to us that are located in neighboring counties of Virginia. Our caves are open to all responsible cavers, however, four of the caves are gated to protect fragile resources and do require prior arrangements for entry. Please visit our Preserves page for details about and all our Preserves.

All this conservation work has been possible due to the generous support of our members and donors, both in terms of labor and money. However, there is always more to do, from sinkhole clean-ups to acquiring the next preserve; and we are always working on the next acquisition. With your support, we will continue our work into the future.

  • Manage caves to protect sensitive cave resources and environments;
  • Educate landowners, developers, local governments, and the public on the value of cave and karst resources;
  • Organize cave and karst conservation projects including sinkhole cleanups and livestock exclusion;
  • Preserve access to significant caves in the region through ownership and management agreements;
  • Work with and advise landowners on their karst management issues;
  • Provide expertise on karst and aquifer issues to city and county governments;
  • Work with planning commissions;
  • Sponsor and encourage research and surveying projects in WVCC caves;
  • Sponsor and co-host the National Cave and Karst Conservancies Forum.

Mailing Address

West Virginia Cave Conservancy
P.O. Box 243
Frankford, WV 24938