Protection of the cave system Križna jama in Slovenia

Resolution adopted at the EGP Council, Ljubljana, 11-13 April 2008.

Subject: Križna jama near Lož, Nova Križna jama and both carstic surface and underground in their hinterland 

“Evropski Zeleni” on the initiative of SMS – “Stranka mladih Slovenije” propound the acceptance of the Resolution of Križna jama cave system protection. The government of the republic of Slovenia has been given a warning to solve the issue.

1. DESCRIPTION OF THE CAVE SYSTEM

The cave system lies on the area of three communes (Loška dolina, Cerknica in Bloke) in SW of the Republic of Slovenia. It consists of two longer water caves, which together represent one of the longest cave systems in Slovenia.

a.) Križna jama near Lož is a natural site of great value and importance. It belongs among open caves with supervised entry and among tourist caves. It is one of the few tourist caves in Slovenia which does not have concrete paths and strong light, which are  harmful to caves. It is one of the most beautiful and best preserved caves in Europe/the World. It is an important cultural monument (archaeological site of the cave bear bones, ceramics from Eneolitic period).

b.) Nova Križna jama has the status of a closed cave.

The cave system is included in the European ecological network Natura 2000 within the sphere of special conservational area pSCI: SI3000232 Notranjski trikotnik (Uredba o posebnih varstvenih območjih (območjih Natura 2000), Ur.l. RS 49/2004 in 110/2004) str. 13082.

 

Specialities of the cave system and the cave inventory

  • Extremely clean water (for now) in the cave stream, rich in minerals and calcite.
  • Dams from calcareous sinter between the lakes. There are around 50 of them in the cave.
  • Fourth cave in the world by the variety of cave organisms (44 species).
  • It is the second biggest hibernation area of the bat in Slovenia. There are 7 of the 28 known bat species in Slovenia that live inside the cave.
  • The cave is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world because of numerous cave bear bones.
  • The ceramics found in the Cerar’s gallery from Eneolitic period and later.
  • Stalactites and stalagmites that “grow from the water” because of the rise of the dams and therefore also water level.
  • Partial aragonite in the Dry part of the cave, cave milk in Matjaž’s gallery and on the end of gallery Blata.
  • Numerous “spaghetti” – small tubes – (some of length 2-3m), helactites, dams and other forms of calcareous sinter in dry galleries of the cave.
  • Distinctive geomorphological forms of water stream (facets, … on the ceiling and walls, rock knives…). Cascades in the cave.

More information about the cave system, photos and the interactive visit of the cave on the web sites: http://www.krizna-jama.si and http://www.burger.si/Jame/KriznaJama/KriznaJama.html.

 

2. THE POLLUTION

The purifying plant near Fara and the system of Križna jama

The purifying plant was built in Nova vas on the plateau Bloke at the end of the year 2007. The tube from the plant is, without any surface stream, drawn into a nearby sinkhole of brook Farovščica. The expert findings have shown that that water goes to the system of Križna jama and Mrzla jama pri Bločicah. This sinkhole has been until now most of the year without water (water from the brook has disappeared underground over 100m before the sinkhole) and water from it did not come into the cave.

After the plant has started to work, big spumes were seen in the waters of Križna jama.

 

3. REQUESTS

An immediate halt to the work on the purifying plant is being requested until proper investigations of its impact are made.

Also professional studies of the judgement of the impact on the cave and finding solutions which would not have negative consequences for the cave, are requested. 

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