Well, it is sort of a turn-off to be called selfish by a stranger. I'm actually one of the most generous guys out there, and people that know me will know I'm also pretty humble too. I'll try to not let us get off on the wrong foot here, but you really need to know more of what you're talking about before you assume the cave is closed so that only an elite few can go there.
You're correct in that the cave is indeed a treasure. That is why it is closed to the public. The cave was being "loved to death", and unfortunately people liked to show their love by spray-painting their names and obscenities in the cave. Indeed to this very day, we still have the occasional break in and have spent quite a bit of time and money for repairs to the gate and enclosures. Keep in mind that those of us who work the property do not get paid to do so, we're volunteers. We give of our time, effort and money because we love the cave and seek to keep it from further harm and destruction. If this is considered selfish, then we need to reevaluate the definition of "selfish".
It is very important that I note that this cave is not owned by the NSS. It is owned by a private organization, and administered by the NSS through a documented management plan. It is in our interest to keep the wishes of the cave owner in mind and to take care of their property as if it were our own.
The bottom line is that I have the key and it is my discretion as to who I take to the cave. Currently we do not do organized trips to the cave nor do we do grotto trips. (This might change in the future if and when the WNS threat dies down or goes away since we have a sizable bat population. The moratorium on group trips is due almost solely to WNS.) However, I do have the ability to take a guest to the cave and frequently do so. One thing is that I have to know you, who you are and what you're about. This means a face to face meeting beforehand, perhaps a series of emails and phone calls even. Call me timid, but I do not like being out in the middle of the deep woods with a complete stranger, no matter how armed I might be!!
Just two weeks ago I took a young man to the cave who I actually met right here on Cave-Chat. He was humble, friendly, and an amiable guy. He took the time to come to a Dogwood City Grotto meeting , on my invitation, to meet me personally. He seemed truly interested in caving and cave conservation so I had no problem taking him with me provided he had proper cave equipment which he had.
Incidentally, I introduced this man to another guy in the grotto and he has since been on several other memorable trips to other caves. He is now off to a good start in caving. If you are interested in caving, and it appears that you are, I highly recommend checking out the Dogwood City Grotto in Atlanta. This is the number one best way to find your way to the world of caving. Going it alone will often lead to frustration and a resentment of people who really are good, caring cavers. Caving is not a sat-in-your lap sport. You have to put some effort into it, and this might involve getting out of your comfort zone and do like I did many years ago: go to a meeting full of strangers and get to know them. It takes patience but it will be rewarded.
Case in point: People often ask me how I wound up on the KSC Committee. Well the plain and simple truth is that I asked. I emailed one fellow who never returned my emails. The other fellow who is the chairman does not own a computer and does not have email, so I took a pen and paper out and wrote a friendly letter to him. I offered to come help clean up, or do some work if only I could get to see the cave again (I had visited the cave in the early 80s before it was closed and had always longed to return to it). I certainly didn't start off complaining about the cave being closed. He was apparently impressed with my honesty and persistence and a few months later I was made a member of the committee and received a key to the property. It took some effort, but it was worth it. Not only do I have the responsibility of managing a cave preserve, I have made lifelong friends too.
Same goes for the DCG - I kept attending meetings and getting to know people. Now, not only do I have the opportunity to visit some fine caves, most of them much prettier than Kingston, I have met some of the best and most precious friends I ever thought I would have.
So, If you want to see the cave, and see other caves, I invite you to come visit our next DCG meeting which happens to be this coming Tuesday. We meet the first Tuesday of each month at the REI store at the intersection of Interstate 85 and Clairmont Road at 7pm. We enjoy having visitors, so do not feel like we are at all an exclusive bunch. Come on out and I would be happy to talk to you.