New cave discovered in proposed quarry expansion area

Grand Junction, Colo. (KJCT) - A new cave dubbed Witch's Pantry has been discovered in an area where a controversial limestone quarry expansion is proposed in Glenwood Springs.

Opponents of the quarry expansion are hoping that this new find might convince the BLM to block the mining company's request to grow by thirty times its current size.

Experts say that this cave is likely home to clues about Colorado's past climate and even rare species. They say this cave is part of the network of limestone caves that feed water to the Hot Springs… the location of this find means that mining company Rocky Mountain Resources would have to blast through the cave in order to excavate limestone.

"Any time you mess with any one of the limbs of the water coming down underneath the city in the underground reservoir, it makes the owners of the hot springs and the city very nervous because that's literally their life blood,” says Grand Junction caver Richard Rhinehart.

Opponents of the quarry expansion argue that any impact on the hot springs poses a real threat to the city's tourism and economy.

When mining company RMR had the land surveyed, their survey produced a lot of "anomalies" in the land, but no caves. Richard thinks that all of these "anomalies" are caves, waiting to be discovered.

We reached out to both the BLM and RMR regarding this new discovery but have not heard back yet.