►MO­JAVE DESERT’S MITCHELL CAVERNS SET TO RE­OPEN:

Ripon Bulletin - - State / Nation -

ES­SEX (AP) — Af­ter be­ing closed to the public since 2010, the only lime­stone caves in Cal­i­for­nia’s state park sys­tem are set to re­open.

The Los An­ge­les Times re­ports(Mitchell Caverns, hid­den in a nar­row canyon in the eastern Mo­jave Desert, and the vis­i­tor cen­ter are sched­uled to re­open to the public Nov. 3.

Of­fi­cials closed the caverns af­ter the two rangers who pa­trolled the area re­tired and were not re­placed amid bud­get cuts.

Van­dals then ripped out elec­tri­cal copper wire, stole diesel-pow­ered gen­er­a­tors and ran­sacked the vis­i­tor cen­ter.

The caverns now boast ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions, in­clud­ing up­grades to the recre­ation area’s wa­ter sys­tem, a re­fur­bished vis­i­tor cen­ter, a new pedes­trian bridge along a trail lead­ing to the caverns and new LED lights in­side the caves.

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