During the research phase Governor Ray made a trip into the cave. After him several other dignitaries went inside to see what was of this magnificent cave. Then in January of 1975 the three year exploratory period was up. With the agreement still conceived with the Flatlands, the shaft and the land around it reverted back to him. This is the status of the cave currently. Mr. and Mrs. Flatland have complete control of the shaft now. Having taken a very responsible attitude towards the cave they have gone thought great pains to preserve it and all formations side, but the state has no control over it anymore.
The Geological Survey, before the lease labs, conducted a study to try and determine how much it would cost to developed the cave as a public facility. The determined range was about 1.3 million dollars to develop about a half mile passage way for the public. Therefore, no action has been taken to initiate this project, no funds have been sought. There has been no formal declaration about what would be needed if the States Conservation Commission were to draw up a plan for the development. If the plan were to be made it would then have to be presented to the legislator along with a request for an appropriation. Simply, the Conservation Commission thus far has not taken the interest necessary to do this.
I Think it would be positive to develop it as a public facility, at least develop part of it for the public. Otherwise, one alternative would be to shut the cave up again completely, letting the cave revert to its status before it was discovered or to commercially develop it, which I’m convinced would eventually ruin the cave. The Coldwater Cave is a on-of-a-kind cave for Iowa. Although, Iowa does have more caves in this general area, none of them come even close to being as spectacular, large, and beautiful as Coldwater Cave. In some respect it’s absolutely unique to this part of the state and really to this area of the Midwest.