Keller Shaft, Mammoth Cave National Park

Keller Shaft, Mammoth Cave National Park
Keller Shaft, Mammoth Cave National Park, Photo by Roger Brucker

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chapter V & Afterword: Preparing for challenges over the long haul

V. Preparing for challenges over the long haul

Prepare for a long campaign – one lasting years, not months.  It took six years of opposition for the Kentucky Transpark to exhibit many of the hazards that KarstEEP identified before the first shovel of ground was turned. Stopping the proposed Pulaski County Landfill expansion above the Sloans Valley Cave System took eight years, and a similar time period elapsed during the struggle over whether or not I-66 will be built across the karst of southern Kentucky. At this time, that project is dead, but eternal vigilance is the price of bringing these “undead” projects to even a temporary halt.

Developers and politicians will attempt to discredit you, then wear you out.  For this reason you must recruit new talent as you go along, to replace attrition and burnout.  Accept that you may have to take a break, every once in a while, and let others take up the slack while you recover. Opposing developers and defending caves is stressful work.  Many individuals hate controversy and dislike the adversary role. Some of your best workers will tire, move away, or lose heart.  Keep in mind what Robert Kennedy, Jr. has said: “They cannot win if we do not quit.”


Who is KarstEEP?   We are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation established to provide information and environmental education about caves and karst.  Our viewpoint is that karst features, such as underground rivers, should be protected with as much intelligence and zeal as surface rivers and landscapes.

KarstEEP wants to work with others to strengthen the community’s ability to effectively protect threatened cave and karst resources and help guard against unsafe development. We will develop public education, networking, and training resources; will advocate for better protection for karst waters under the Clean Water Act; and we aim to provide a voice for better karst protection ordinances. We are seeking partners and cooperative efforts to further these goals.

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