After numerous attempts were made by the BLM and local caving group volunteers to move a large boulder, the U. S. Forest Service (USFS) assisted by using small explosives to unblock the cave passage. Following the blast, volunteers cleaned up the debris and shored up the passage.
BLM Range Management/Cave Specialist Bryan McKenzie said the BLM couldn’t have reopened Spirit Mountain Cave without the assistance of volunteers and the USFS. “Blasting and working inside a cave comes with unique challenges so we certainly appreciate their efforts,” said McKenzie.
Spirit Mountain Cave is located on public land on Cedar Mountain, approximately three miles west of Cody. More than 1,000 people visit the cave each year.
The BLM reminds the public to not enter any cave unless all clothing and equipment has been de-contaminated to help prevent the spread of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) to Wyoming. WNS is a fungal disease that has killed more than 5.5 million bats in the eastern third of North America during the past six years and continues to spread south and west. Hibernating bats are especially vulnerable because underground caves provide the cool, moist conditions favorable for the fungus to thrive. Do not use any clothing or equipment in Wyoming caves that have been previously used in states where WNS occurs.
A permit is required to visit Spirit Mountain Cave. For more information or to obtain permits to visit the caves in the Cody Field Office area, contact McKenzie at 307-578-5900 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on WNS, visitwww.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wildlife/wns.html.