1997 KARST AND CAVE MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM
13TH NATIONAL CAVE MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM
Highlighting Forest Karst Ecosystems
October 7-10, 1997, Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A
|HOSTS: National Speleological Society American Cave Conservation Association Cave Research Foundation The Karst Waters Institute National Caves AssociationThe Nature ConservancyU. S. Forest Service U. S. National Park Service U.S. Bureau of Land Management U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service||CO-SPONSORS: British Columbia Speleological Federation British Columbia Ministry of Forests Northwest Caving Association Oregon Grotto of the NSS Northwest Chapter of the ACCA Northwest Cave Research Institute BC Parks Bat Conservation International Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Richmond Area Speleological Society Western Forest Products Limited Terra Associates MacMillan Bloedel Limited Canadian Forest Products Limited The Record , Gold River|
Updated to: August 26, 1999
Tom Aley and Cathy Aley Role of the Epikarstic Zone in Temperate Rain Forest Management in Alaska
The epikarstic zone is the weathered upper part of the bedrock. In the karst regions of southeastern Alaska the thickness and hydrobiologic functioning of the epikarstic zone varies dramatically. Where suitable lithologies exist, the thickness of the epikarstic zone is closely related to the amount of time since the last glaciation. As an example, in one area on the northern end of Prince of Wales Island, lands below elevations of about 400 feet are characterized by thin epikarstic zones because of recent glaciation. Lands with very thin epikarstic zones are less vulnerable to adverse impacts from timber harvest and road construction than are lands with thicker epikarstic zones. This relationship is one of several factors integrated into a karst land vulnerability strategy developed for the Ketchikan Area of the Tongass National Forest. The epikarstic zone is the region in which most bedrock dissolution, which is dominantly controlled by hydrobiological processes, occurs. A hydrologically integrated epikarstic zone provides lateral water movement to localized zones with enhanced vertical permeability. Turbulent water flow capable of transporting sediment and suspended organic materials is common in epikarstic zones developed beneath lands with at least moderate relief. Much of the sediment and suspended organic material transported through epikarstic zones ultimately discharges through springs to the streams of the region.
James F. Baichtal Application of a Karst Management Strategy
Extensive areas of very pure carbonate rocks are found within the Tongass National Forest. The presence of caves has long been known by the natives and local inhabitants of Southeast Alaska. Well-developed cave systems were first reported in 1975 and first mapped in 1987. The existence of vast areas of karst development was fully recognized in 1990. With passage of the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act (FCRPA) in 1988, the initial protection focussed on the large significant karst features and cave entrances. Subsequent measures tended to look at entire karst systems, but these measures were limited by the need to provide timber for long-term timber sale contracts. Between 1993 and 1996 the Forest revised the Tongass Land Management Plan, with karst and cave resource management as one of five "emphasis areas." Standards and guidelines were developed which provided for other land uses while taking into account the function and biological significance of the karst and cave resources. The Forest adopted a land management strategy referred to as "vulnerability mapping" or "karst vulnerability," which assesses the susceptibility of the karst resources to any proposed land use. The key elements focus on the openness of the karst and its ability to transport water, nutrients, soil and debris, and pollutants into the underlying hydrologic systems. The strategy strives to maintain the capability of the karst landscape to regenerate a forest after harvest, to maintain the waters issuing from karst systems, and to protect the resource values within the underlying cave systems. This strategy has been applied to the Lab Bay Planning Area on Prince of Wales Island and to a salvage sale on Heceta Island, off the west coast of Prince of Wales Island. This paper will discuss the application process, assumptions, implementation, and challenges or shortcomings of the strategy. Research needs are identified to refine the process and to enhance the future implementation of the strategy.
James F. Baichtal Karst Landscapes and Associated Resources: A Resource Assessment - Poster Presentation
The Tongass National Forest contains world class karst features and the largest concentration of associated dissolved caves known in the State of Alaska. This poster will illustrate the many components of the karst landscape, describing the dominant karst forming processes, the controlling geologic and hydrologic characteristics, and the influence of the karst landscape on associated forest resources. The current Karst Resource Management Strategy being implemented on the Tongass National Forest will be highlighted. Printed copies of the Assessment will be available.
Bronwen Beedle Management for Karst Environments in British Columbia
A present, karst management in British Columbia is primarily an active issue on Vancouver Island because of the commercially valuable stands of timber supported by its karst. Although karst is known to occur throughout B.C., information of karst topography in B.C. is generally lacking, except for parts of Vancouver Island, and at small scales for other parts of B.C. The management of recreation resources in B.C., including caves and cave entrances, is governed by the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (June 1995). The Forest Practices Code is a new policy vehicle in British Columbia that brings together previously existing management standards and guidelines and includes additional provisions for forest resources and activities that were previously inadequately addressed. Karst management is not currently dealt with in an integrated way within the Forest Practices Code. Since the 1980s, the Ministry of Forests has been responsible for managing caves within provincial forests, primarily addressing vandalism and impacts from logging. This has let to the protection and management of caves and local related features, but it has not generally addressed many operational forestry activities on karst topography. Although the Ministry stopped broadcast burning on karst a number of years ago, concerns about issues like soil conservation and ground water quality have brought increased scrutiny to forest operations in sensitive karst areas and underscored the need for karst management guidelines. In addition, research is needed, as are karst inventory standards and field methods.
Mason D. Bryant, Ph.D., Douglas N. Swanston, Robert C. Wissmar, and Brenda E. Wright Salmonid Populations in the Karst Landscape of North Prince of Wales Island, Southeast Alaska
Karst topography is a unique and distinct landscape and its geology may have important implications for salmon productivity in streams. The relationship between salmonid communities and water chemistry and the influence of habitat were examined in a set of streams on north Prince of Wales Island, southeast Alaska. Alkalinity, pH, conductivity, and temperature were measured. Fish were counted during snorkel surveys, and habitat was identified on 500-1000 m reaches in each stream. Lengths were obtained from fish captured in minnow traps. Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kitsutch) and Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) were the dominant species in all streams. Streams in karst landscapes showed higher alkalinities (1,500 - 2,300 µeq/L) than streams not influenced by karst landscapes (750 - 770 µeq/L). A significant positive relationship was observed between alkalinity and density of coho salmon parr. Backwater pools supported higher densities of coho salmon than did other habitat units. Both coho salmon fry and parr in karst-influenced streams were larger than those in non-karst streams. Although past timber harvest practices in the riparian areas of several of the stream appeared to influence stream habitat and water temperature, streams flowing through karst landscapes had a distinct water chemistry. Furthermore, these streams appeared to support more fish than non-karst streams.
Gabrielle K. Call, Tom Aley, and John Farr Use of Dye Tracing and Recharge Area Delineation in Cave Protection and Conservation on Private Land
Herron Cave, an outflow cave located in middle Tennessee, has been a Nature Conservancy project for over six years due to the site's suite of rare, threatened, and endangered species. in 1996, the Conservancy performed a dye tracing study in Herron Cave's watershed to determine the recharge area and subsequently link landowners to key sinkholes and other karst features contributing to the cave stream. Three dyes were introduced in six locations across an approximately three-square mile area above the cave mouth. Results form the dye tracing indicate that Herron Cave's recharge area covers 2.5 square miles, almost 500 acres of which are considered of high impact to the groundwater entering the cave. Using mapped GIS layers, including subterranean cave survey, aerial photograph, topographic quadrangle, landowner parcel sheets, and recharge area boundary, the Conservancy now has a protection tool for prioritizing landowner contact and education, sinkhole clean-ups, and agricultural tracts requiring Best Management Practices. The Nature Conservancy is currently employing dye tracing in several states, including West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Missouri, in efforts to advance cave conservation past entrance signs and gating to recharge area-wide protection.
Kent Carlson The Distribution of Troglobytic and Troglophilic Invertebrates in Southeast Alaska - Poster Presentation
Six islands in southeast Alaska (Prince of Wales, Dall, Coronation, Sumez, Heceta, and Baker) were sampled for cave-associated invertebrates between 1992 and 1995. Collections from over three hundred cave and resurgence sites yielded at least five troglobitic and forty troglophilic invertebrate species. Many of these species, such as Onychiurus n. sp., Tomocerus n. sp., and Stygobromus n. sp., were previously undocumented. A majority of cavernicolous invertebrates were found to be associated with specific environmental parameters or habitats. Aquatic invertebrates such as Stygobromus, Robustocheles and Onychiurus were most commonly found in the deep cave zone on low-activity drip pool surfaces. Larger patterns of distribution were also seen. Cavernicolous invertebrate diversity and abundance were shown to increase in collection sites as they progressed westward from the mainland. No north-south trend was observed. Various mechanisms, such as glaciation and affiliated sea lever changes, have been postulated to account for southeast Alaskan cavernicole distribution. Geological evidence has indicated that glaciers overrode the coastal islands approximately 20,000 years ago and filled, crushed, or scraped away many cave systems. Rising marine tides occurring during glacial recession also wiped out many coastal populations of "karst-locked" cavernicoles. Both mechanisms undoubtedly resulted in many regional extinctions. Humans have had comparatively little direct impact on the distribution of cavernicoles in southeast Alaska. However, anthropogenically introduced non-native species, such as Willowsia and Formica, may prove to have long-term detrimental effects on cavernicole populations.
Kent Carlson Invertebrate Habitat Complexity in Southeast Alaskan Karst Ecosystems - Poster Presentation
Starlight Cave is a model karst system for studying invertebrate interactions in complex cave habitats. It represents a small fraction of a larger karst ecosystem that includes areas around Sinkhole Lake, Thundering Falls Cave, Whispering Canyon Cave, and Carcass Cave in the north-central region of Prince of Wales Island. Starlight Cave has two distinct hydrologic zones, which are interconnected in various underground locales. The uppermost aqueous habitat is colder (3.5 - 5 C in June 1995) water with low flow rates. Ironically, the lowermost level of the cave has warmer streams (14 - 15 C in June 1995) with increased flow rates. These warm streams original from epigean habitats around Sinkhole Lake. A variety of stenothermal troglophilic and troglobitic aquatic invertebrates occupy the colder upper level waters. Fauna present in the lower cave streams wash in from the margins of Sinkhole Lake. Some of the troglobitic aquatic invertebrates, such as a new species of Stygobromus, have only recently been discovered. Starlight Cave also has a complex terrestrial invertebrate distribution, primarily due to numerous karst windows and collapse pits. These openings predispose upper level subterranean habitats to invasion from epigean invertebrates. Terrestrial epigean invertebrates also wash into the lower regions of the cave on stream and flood debris, resulting in a heterogeneous mix of epigean and hypogean invertebrates in most terrestrial habitats. Starlight Cave is one of the most extensively studied cave ecosystems in southeast Alaska. Investigations into other cave systems will undoubtedly reveal increasingly complex networks of habitats and invertebrates.
Rane Curl, Ph.D. Entranceless and Nonproper Cave Management
It is possible to estimate the number and lengths of both entranceless and nonproper caves in a region based on data from known caves. The procedures are statistical and can be implemented with a computer. It turns out that there are typically on the order of ten times as many entranceless proper caves as have natural entrances, although they are on the average shorter. There are vastly more nonproper caves. Management plans for a cave region should include both entranceless and nonproper caves, considering their importance as parts of karst hydrological systems, as habitats for cave biota, and as reservoirs of information about regional speleogenesis, paleoclimates and paleobiology, and all other issues of interest in known and proper caves. At the same time, it may be desirable to maintain the state of entranceless caves in order to maintain the associated environments.
Rane Curl, Ph.D. and Ira Sasowsky, Ph.D. Karst Water Institute - Karst Science Serving Groundwater and Biological Resources
The Karst Waters Institute (KWI) was formed in 1991 to improve scientific understanding of karst water systems as interacting geological and biological environments, through research and educational programs. Major accomplishments to date have been the instigation of four interdisciplinary conferences on Karst Geomicrobiology and Redox Geochemistry (1994), Bahama Paleokarst (1995), Climate Change - the Karst Record (1996), and Conservation and Protection of the Biota of Karst (1997). KWI has also cosponsored other conferences, published extended conference abstracts, and conducted field courses in biospeleology. In the future, in addition to continuing scientific conference and educational programs, KWI expects to grow as a resource to develop specialized karst science workshops for resource managers, as a central agency to provide contacts with the interdisciplinary karst science community, to undertake specific research projects directly or cooperatively, and to be a scientific partner in cave and karst management projects.
Robert R. Currie and Jim Petterson Protecting Stanton's Cave
Stanton's Cave is a significant biological, archeological, and paleontological resource located in Marble Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. It once supported the largest known maternity colony of Corynorhinus townsendii (western big-eared bat) in Arizona. The largest number of split-twig figurines ever recovered from a single site was found there, and important paleontological deposits have been excavated from the site. In the 1970s a chain-link fence was installed at the entrance in an attempt to protect the cave and its archeological resources. The fence completely covered the cave entrance, and no provision was made for the bats to continue to use the cave. Several years later a small hole was cut in the upper part of the fence to permit bats to enter the cave. This effort was not successful. In the summer of 1996, less than 20 individuals were observed exiting the cave. Additionally, the fence was not secure, and unauthorized visitors regularly entered the cave. This further disturbed the bats and put the cave's other resources at risk. In April 1997 the fence was removed, and an angle-iron bat gate was installed. Less than one month later, 120 bats were observed exiting the cave. This project was a cooperative effort with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bat Conservation International and is an example of how to combine the resources of the Federal and private sectors effectively to accomplish essential cave protection tasks more efficiently.
Martin Davis, Trudy Chatwin, and David Nagorsen Bat Usage of the Weymer Creek Cave Systems on Northern Vancouver Island
In order to determine environmental variables that affect bat hibernacula choice and other cave usage in coastal temperate forests in British Columbia, we initiated a study at Weymer Creek Caves on northern Vancouver Island. Weymer Creek Caves are the only known hibernation site for Keen's Long-eared Myotis (Myotis keenii) and have extensive cave systems at a range of elevations in both natural and harvested forest. Temperature and humidity loggers were deployed on the surface, within entrances, and deep within caves at sea level, at 600 metres, and 900 metres elevation in natural forest and 20 to 25 year old clearcuts. Temperatures of high elevation caves ranged from 3.1° to 5° C between July and October. Cave use by bats was monitored by placing remote ultrasonic detectors near entrances and within caves. Cave inspection, placement of guano catchment sheets, bone collection, and netting provided information on which cave systems were used by bats and when. Most significant caves with entrances above 800 metres exhibit use by bats, including one cave within a logged environment. Five species of Myotis have been recorded using the caves and forest (M. keenii, M. lucifugus, M. yumanensis, M. volans, and M. californicus). Our findings point to the importance of the caves for bats at all times of the year. Further temperature and humidity date, future systematic ultrasonic detection work, bat capture, and possibly radio telemetry work will provide important information on bats and their relationship to forested karst environments.
Nathalie Doerfliger and Francois Zwhalen EPIK: Cartographic Method for Assessing the Vulnerability of Karst Aquifers for the purpose of Delineating Protection Zones
EPIK is a general multiattribute method used for karst aquifer vulnerability mapping, providing a basis for assessing the groundwater protection zones in the karst environment. Developed with the support of the Federal Office for Environment, Forest and Landscape, the goal of this method is to produce vul;nerability maps for karst spring water catchments. According to the selected attributes, the assigned vulnerability zones can be the basis for delineating groundwater protection zones. After having determined the spring water catchment borderlines, we proceed in four steps: 1) mapping of the epikarst (geomorphological approach; 2) protective cover mapping; 3) infiltration conditions mapping; and 4) characterizatino of karst network development. Each of these attributes is subdivided into classes that are weighted by a theoretical coefficient. The four attribute maps are then overlaid using GIS and degree of vulnerability is calculated for each zone. The result is the vulnerability map. Some of the results obtained from field testing this method in Switzerland are presented here.
Kris Esterson Heceta Island: An Example of Karst Management in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska
Heceta Island is located in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska and contains some of the most extensive and well-developed karst in the Tongass National Forest. Timber harvest has been active on the karst of the island since the 1950's and continues today. The most recent timber sale, the Heceta Sawfly Salvage Sale, will extract approximately 18 million board feet out of 19 units. The Tongass Cave Project examined the units in August 1997 and found that 16 of the 19 units contain significant caves and karst features, many previously unknown. The TCP discovered 23 new caves in units cleared and sold by the USFS. Hydrologic traces confirm connections between karst features inside the new units and a class one stream and the 2 km long Arabica Cave System. The protection of caves and karst features in units already sold in the Heceta Sawfly Salvage Sale remains uncertain as does the actual protection of karst on the rest of Heceta Island and elsewhere in the region.
Elery Hamilton-Smith The IUCN Guidelines for Cave and Karst Protection
In 1992 at the Caracas Convention, it was decided that work would commence on a series of guidelines for cave and karst protection. A small group headed by Dr. John Watson of Western Australia began preparing a draft which was circulated to cavers and cave managers throughout the world. Over 600 comments were received for preparation of the final manuscript which was published in Australia in 1997. The guidelines center upon the management of protected areas, but give due recognition to the fact that much of the world's karst is not in such areas. They place the focus on karst features as a whole, not just on the caves. This is partly because many of the other features of karst are as important as the caves, and partly because effective protection of caves is dependent upon protection of their context. There is clearly more work to be done on guideline development. In particular, we plan to look at karst dependent biota, including not merely troglobitic fauna, but also the microflora of caves and the surface flora and fauna, with particular attention to those species found only on karst. Other special issues include development of caves for tourism purposes and the special issues relating to lava tunnels.
Elery Hamilton-Smith and Brian Clark Bat Interpretation by Infra-red Imaging at Naracoorte World Heritage Area, South Australia
Amongst a range of other remarkable features, including the massive deposits of sub-fossil invertebrates which led to its recognition as a World Heritage Area, the caves at Naracoorte house the largest (and most southerly) maternity site of the Bent-winged Bat (Miniopterus schreibersii). It is not feasible to make this site directly accessible to visitors. In order to provide an experience of the caves and its residents, four video-cameras with active infra-red LCD lighting have been installed. These can be 'driven' around the cave using controls in the visitor center above, and they have sufficient zoom capacity to home in on a single bat or even a single cockroach. The images are transmitted to a series of television monitor screens in the visitor center. There is also excellent recording capacity for both education and research purposes. Examples of the recordings will be shown.
Elery Hamilton-Smith Monitoring Visitor Experience and Environmental Conditions at Jenolan Caves, New South Wales, Australia
The Jenolan Caves are one of the most extensive and diverse cave systems in Australia. They were one of the leading tourist resorts in the 19th century. They remain popular to this day, attracting some 300,000 visitors per year. Although perhaps not a high number by world standards, the location of the caves in the bottom of a deep valley with precipitous hills on all sides leads to a range of environmental problems and constrains the quality of the visitor experience. The Jenolan Caves Trust, responsible for managing this and three other cave systems, commenced examining options for further development. It became clear that the costs involved in providing improved access would be huge, and this would only be financially viable if visitor numbers increased. In turn, questions were raised about the environmental impacts of a larger visitor population. A think-tank session led to the establishment of a comprehensive program (based on the VIM model) of monitoring the quality of both the environment and the visitor experience. Issues of visitor experience were included because it was felt that a full understanding of the values placed upon the site by visitors and the quality of their experience was central to any change of strategies which may prove necessary. This paper will report both progress and problems.
Val Hildreth-Werker and Jim C. Werker Cave Softly . . . and Leave No Trace - Poster Presentation
Visitor impacts and restoration efforts in undeveloped caves are illustrated through this educational poster display. The exhibit, coordinated by Val Hildreth-Werker, is a joint project between the USDA Forest Service and the National Speleological Society. The five museum-quality display boards were designed as add-on pieces for a Forest promotion of the caves on the Guadalupe Ranger District of Lincoln National Forest. Emphasizing the ethic of cave softly . . . and leave no trace, the caption on each photographic board describes an aspect of destruction along with the restoration efforts required to repair or remediate the damage.
Peter Huntoon, Ph.D. The Great Leap Forward - Deforestation Ecological Disaster in the South China Karst Belt
The Sublime south China karst belt, host to some of the most exotic landscapes found on earth and a population well in excess of 100 million people, has been profoundly and detrimentally impacted by massive post-1958 deforestation. Although south china occupies a subtropical monsoon climatic zone, it endures an annual flood-drought cycle. This cycle has been sufficiently exacerbated by the loss of the "green reservoir" that desertification has occurred over large areas. A primary impact of deforestation has been lost retention of water in the uplands. Surface runoff has become more flashy, and stream discharge recessions brief. The consequence has been increased flooding during the rainy season followed by parched conditions during the dry season. Existing ground water supplies have become unreliable. Upland springs and seeps have dried up. Lowland springs, wells, and blue holes now experience accelerated and more severe dry season water level declines. Wildlife populations were decimated. Risks of crop failures have risen. The situation has grown precarious for a regional population that is as little as two crop failures away from starvation. Two trends thwart recovery: (1) heavy dependance of the local population on wood for fuel and (2) a population explosion. Reforestation efforts are underway, but they are gradually losing to human encroachment. Development of ground water offers a degree of mitigation. However, the thin, shallow karst aquifers present are characterized by an unusually great ability to transmit large volumes of water rapidly out of the region. They also possess minimal reservoir storage. Remarkable ground water developments, driven by desperation, are proceeding, but they are fraught with frustration.
Rodney D. Horrocks A Synthesis of New Cave Lighting Design Concepts Using Low Voltage Lighting Systems to Light Developed Caves
A new low voltage cave lighting design concept was developed by Neil Kell after visiting many of the show caves in the U.S., Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand in 1993. This new concept establishes two separate lighting systems, and access (trail) lighting system that addresses safety concerns and visitor movement and a feature-based lighting system that reduces resource damage and facilitates interpretation. The primary purpose of the access lighting system is to assure safe travel for visitors during a normal tour and during an emergency evacuation of the cave in case of a power outage. The feature lighting system is designed in such a way as to protect cave resources and highlight features both as an aid in interpretation and to provide visually appealing scenes for the public. The system essentially eliminates algae and disability glare and reduces vandalism. It also limits impact on the cave from routine maintenance of lights, by careful wattage selections, and using specially-designed shrouds and light placement techniques. Since its design is not restricted by an attempt to use the same lights for access lighting, creativity is used to design a system that addresses visual effect and atmosphere as well. This concept incorporates the intrinsic nature of caves into the design, and it combines contrast, texture and color into visually eye-catching scenes. The system allows for interaction between the interpreter, public and the cave environment, providing maximum flexibility in accommodating varying visitor interests. This system tells an interpretive story, lighting aspects of history, cave origin, speleogens and speleothems. This lighting concept, which has been applied at Timpanogos Cave, Utah and Mitchell Caverns, California can better protect our caves, save energy, and give our interpreters a valuable tool to better interpret the underground world.
Frank Hovenden and Betty Brooks Mountain Ladyslippers on White Ridge
The authors discovered the Mountain Ladyslipper (Cypripedium montanum Dougl. ex Lindl.) growing on White Ridge, Vancouver Island. This plant was previously thought to be extinct on Vancouver Island. The unusual karst microsite as well as the associated plants are described.
George N. Huppert, Ph.D. and Betty J. Wheeler State Endangered Species Associated with the Spelean Environment
The passage of the Federal Endangered Species Act in 1973 prompted a number of states to draft and pass their own acts to protect state endangered species. Generally, these are species that are not endangered at a national scale but may be endangered in a given state. These species usually do not meet national standards for listing. A few states merely duplicate the federal list. A number of states have no law, however, some of these states may list species needing protection and regulate them through other laws and regulations. In most cases, the federal law requires protection of the habitat of endangered species, but state laws vary in this requirement. Some state laws are enforced only on state and federal land but not on private land. A preliminary listing of state laws and species is presented for informational purposes. As with all laws, they are only as effective as the enforcement given them. This enforcement varies greatly among the states, and because of the difficulty in documentation, it is beyond the scope of this paper.
Jim Kennedy North American Bat Conservation Partnership
The North American Bat Conservation Partnership (NABCP) was formed in 1997 to ensure efficient and effective conservation initiatives on a long-term, continent-wide basis. NABCP partners share resources, information, and matching funds with private conservation organizations, foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Partners collaborate: (1) to educate the public and enlist their support; (2) to acquire knowledge of bat status and needs; (3) to set and carry out key habitat protection priorities; (4) to establish cohesive regional conservation strategies; (5) to create specialized data bases on bat needs and protection priorities; (6) to establish a national Internet site designed to share the latest guidelines on bat conservation and management; and (7) to develop a library of specialized, partner-produced bat conservation handbooks and training materials. NABCP is headquartered at Bat Conservation International (BCI) in Austin, Texas. The founding partners in include numerous conservation groups and government agencies in the United States and Mexico. The project recruits as many federal and state agencies, foundations, private conservation organizations, corporations, sportsman's groups, veterinary and public health experts, and landowners as feasible in a broad, voluntary collaboration to help conserve America's declining bat populations. Wherever there are established regional or species groups for bats, ongoing efforts will be made to incorporate them into the North American framework. BCI plays the lead role in raising NABCP funds from private donors, foundations, and government agencies in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Each year funds are set aside to encourage peer-reviewed, matching fund collaboration between partners and other responsible organizations or individuals who share NABCP goals.
Larry King Management Concerns in the Development of Rock Climbing Recreation Areas in Caves
In the late 1980's changes in the practices, technology and ethics of recreational rock climbing coincided with a dramatic increase in the sport's popularity. Aggressive marketing, a competitive sports culture rewarding first ascents, and a tradition of climbing area user self-development helped create a situation where climbing recreation areas typically bypassed the land use planning and impact assessment process. Technological changes, primarily the use of battery powered hammer drills, greatly accelerated the development process. In 1992 rock climbers in Central Oregon began developing permanent bolted climbing routes in several lava tube entrances near the city of Bend. By 1993, approximately 250 bolted climbing anchors had been placed in five area caves. In the fall of 1993, members of several Oregon NSS Grottos initiated a program of impact documentation. Interim management policies were developed by the USFS and BLM in 1994, and the caves in question were listed in the FCRPA's Significant Cave Inventory later that year. Three of the so-called "climbing caves" contain prehistoric rock art. In some cases the pictographs have been heavily impacted by climbing activity. Use of magnesium carbonate and magnesium sulfate gymnastic chalk, in addition to "grooming" of loose rock, creation of artificial holds, removal of vegetation, permanent installation of bolted protection anchors, wildlife disturbance and graffiti are impacts that may require management in cave climbing areas. Attempts to regulate climbing activity with signs, road restrictions, seasonal closures and public meetings have met with varying degrees of success. For management purposes, the installation of permanent bolted climbing routes should be considered a form of "development" similar to trail building, rather than a simple recreational activity. The cumulative impacts of route development may be considerable, and typically result in an increase in site visitation as documented in a 1997 user survey. Management and impact assessment issues should be taken into consideration, particularly in areas of cultural significance.
Kenneth J. Kingsley, Ph.D. Development of a Conservation Agreement to Protect Cave Invertebrates and Obviate listing as Endangered Species in Bexar County, Texas
In the Edwards karst region of central Texas, shallow limestone caves are habitat for several species of invertebrates that are extremely rare and endemic to very small areas. In the Austin area, seven endemic species are listed as endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This status has led to increased costs and plan changes for land owners, and enforcement challenges for the USFWS. In the San Antonio area (Bexar County), nine species of karst invertebrates were petitioned for listing as endangered by local conservationists. The primary threats to these species are alleged to be land development and predation/competition by introduced fire ants. A group of local landowners (Cave Conservation Coalition, Inc.), together with the USFWS, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission are creating a Conservation Agreement to obviate listing these species as endangered. The strategy of the Agreement is to assure the conservation of the species by creating preserves and management plans for known locations of these species. The existing recovery plan for the listed species in the Austin area serves as a model for this strategy. A commitment to the idea, and for cooperation in acquisition and management of sites, has been made, and site specific plans are being developed. This presentation reviews the concept of the Conservation Agreement as an acceptable alternative to listing as endangered, and describes the technical process of developing this Agreement.
Steve Knutson Computerized Cave Mapping - An AutoCAD Example from Oregon Caves National Monument
Cave management requires a display of the contents of the cave to see distributions and effects of use and allow creation of a logical management plan. A physical, manually drawn map of a cave is severely limited due to the great variety of features, contents, and conditions in a cave. Moreover, caves have a habit of yielding new discoveries at times, and the resulting extensions often are impossible to add to an existing map.. The obvious solution is to create a computer drawn and displayed map with geographical information system (GIS) capabilities. The recent advances in computer processor speeds allows large and complex caves to be drawn on computer and the resulting "map" to be a usable tool. The extent of information that can be contained in a multi-layered computer map is far beyond the capabilities of any single physical plot. At Oregon Caves National Monument, an inventory of 99 selected features or conditions in the cave was done and the results were entered into Dbase 3. Smaps 5.2 can access this database, attach a symbol to survey stations associated with a selected item, and display this on a line plot, allowing the distribution of inventory items to be viewed. Such a data-based system can be queried, and combinations of items may be displayed. We proceeded with a computerized, complete plan view of the cave, including all physical entities from the inventory. This has been completed in AutoCAD with each item on a separate layer. The resulting computer file is some 10 megabytes in size with 90 different layers. The next logical step is inclusion of the computerized cave map in a GIS. In our case this was done using Arcview, which accepts AutoCAD DWG files.
Julian J. Lewis, Ph.D. and F. Allen Pursell Karst Conservation in Indiana, the Biological Inventory of the Blue River Bioreserve
In 1996 The Nature Conservancy designated a 600 square mile area of karst in southern Indiana as the Blue River Bioreserve. This karst landscape contained a wide range of seldom-found habitats such as chert barrens, limestone glades, and sinkhole swamps. The landscape is connected to the Blue River by a system of an estimated 1,000 caves and uncounted springs. A biological inventory of caves and springs was implemented to document rare invertebrates known or suspected to occur there (besides important vertebrate species such as the Indiana bat Myotis sodalis or northern cavefish Amblyopsis spelaea long known to inhabit this area). To date, over 100 caves have been visited, producing 41 species of troglobites, of which 19 are endemic to Indiana (e.g., four species of the carabid beetle Pseudanopthalmus ) and 12 are known only from the project area (e.g., the collembolan Hypogastrura lucifuga or the pseudoscorpion Kleptochthonius packardi). Six species new to science (e.g., the dipluran Litocampa or the millipede Pseudotremia) have been discovered. As these rare species and their habitats are identified, conservation of significant areas can be accomplished through voluntary acquisitions or easements, managing karst preserves for conservation purposes, and working with both agencies and private landowners in partnerships that benefit all.
Stephen W. Lewis Alaskan Cavers Provide Basis for Karst Ecosystem Protection in the Tongass National Forest
1997 marks the tenth year in which Alaskan cavers have organized expeditions to discover, explore, and map the plethora of caves in Southeast Alaska's recently recognized karstlands. Cavers provide expertise and time while the Ketchikan Area of the U.S. Forest Service provides logistical support and meals during annual month-long expeditions. Expeditions have evolved from loosely organized groups with minimal support to groups of 16 or more cavers, sometimes spread out in several camps among the many islands of the Alexander Archipelago. Cavers have organized the Tongass Cave Project of the National Speleological Society to guide numerous expeditions, many without direct Forest Service support. Expeditions have included cavers from Alaska and the remainder of the United States, as well as Russia, Japan, Czechoslovakia, England, New Zealand, and Canada. This dedicated cadre of cavers, many of whom return year after year, is very productive. In 1996, over 50 new caves were discovered and over 30 mapped, while survey continued in more than five caves. Over 4000 meters of passage were surveyed, with an equal amount of surface survey tying cave entrances together. Over 400 caves have been discovered, and over 300 caves have now been mapped. Cavers have assisted in hydrological, paleontological, archeological, geological, and biological studies as well. The volunteer efforts of cavers from throughout the world have provided the basic data to support major changes in the way caves and karst are managed in the Tongass National Forest.
Stephen W. Lewis Roosting and Hibernal Ecology of Bats in Southeast Alaska's Karstlands
The five species of bats present in Southeast Alaska are among the state's least understood mammals. Bats may be dependent on characteristics of the unique three dimensional ecosystem provided by the area's karstlands. Recent work in Pacific Northwest forests suggests bats require large dead trees similar to those found in old-growth stands on Tongass karstlands for roosts. We do not know if such conclusions are valid for Southeast Alaska. Bats are radio-tagged to locate and characterize day and nursery roosts during summer. Fecal samples are collected from captured bats for analysis of food habits. Observations made by cavers of the Tongass Cave Project indicate that bats are using many of the caves that honeycomb the Tongass as roosts and winter hibernacula. This study will examine temporal patterns of this usage. Bat activity will be documented and related to temperature within hibernacula as well as outside ambient temperature. With the assistance of Yukon researcher Brian Slough, seasonal movements of bats from Interior Canada will be documented to determine whether these populations are using Tongass caves as hibernacula. Results of this study will provide a better understanding of how current cave, karst, and forest management affects species viability of bats in Southeast Alaska.
Mark Ludlow and Jeff Gore Conservation of Cave-roosting Bats at a North Florida State Park
Florida Caverns State Park is a 1300-acre property located in the Panhandle, 58 miles west of Tallahassee. The park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1937 and 1942, and Florida Cavern features the state's only developed cave tour. The park also contains several undeveloped caves, including Old Indian Cave, which houses a colony of 10,000 southeastern bats (Myotis austroriparius). In 1967 the park paved a road adjacent to Old Indian Cave and visitation was encouraged. The resulting formation damage and bat harassment prompted entrance closure with grid-type gates in 1970. These obstructions virtually eliminated the bat roost. In 1982 the largest entrance was reopened and a perimeter fence installed. The bat colony quickly recovered. In 1993 funding was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to enhance both bat protection and bat interpretation at the park. A second large entrance to Old Indian Cave was ungated and fenced. The bats responded immediately to the reopened passage, and currently the two fenced entrances are used approximately equally by emerging bats. The park also developed a new brochure on bats and constructed a new permanent exhibit on the biology of north Florida cave roosting bats. The park provides evening and off-site programs on bats and bat house building for school children, teachers, and the general public.
John T. M. Lyles Advances in GPS Receivers for Locations in Densely Forested and Hilly Terrain - Poster Presentation
The first inexpensive consumer global positioning receivers used by cavers had five to eight channel sequential scanning circuitry to allow locking in on a sufficient number of satellites to get a usable 'fix' of location. This technology was cheaper to manufacture and also used less battery power. In a heavily forested canopy, these handheld units often lost lock on the signals, or never gained the initial lock on which to establish the calculations. Recently, twelve channel parallel receivers have become available, with similar costs and ease of operation, from the same manufacturers. The advertised advantages have been faster locking and improved ability to hold enough satellite signals to continue updating the position. Better operation in heavily forested areas has been addressed, according to the manufacturers. The author will share first hand experience with two Garmin units, an older eight channel sequential architecture receiver, and a new twelve parallel channel model. Usage in locating a national forest cave in dense timberland in the mountains of southern New Mexico will be described. This will provide cavers, cave scientists, and management with a firsthand understanding of the advantages of these two GPS receiver architectures.
Joe Meiman and Chris Groves Conservation Practices for the Improvement of Water Quality of the Mammoth Cave Karst Aquifer
The aquatic ecosystem of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, the most biologically diverse cave aquatic ecosystem known, has experienced chronic and acute contamination from an assortment of land uses within its watershed over the past 200 years. Threats have included sediment, human wastes, agricultural chemicals, runoff from livestock feeding areas, and hazardous chemical spills. Since 1900, Mammoth Cave National Park and its cooperators within the Mammoth Cave Area Biosphere Reserve have taken measures to improve the water quality of the Mammoth Cave karst aquifer. Between 1989 and 1996, a regional sewer system was constructed. Now an average of 430,000 gallons per day of sewage which one entered the aquifer is treated by this system. Ninety animal waste best management practices (BMPs) now annually collect some 2,000 tons of animal waste which once flushed into the cave following every rainfall, with the waste now replacing, or supplementing, commercial fertilizer. A continual threat to the aquifer's health is the possibility of accidental spills along 12 miles of interstate highway and 11 miles of a major railroad that cross the park's watershed. Detailed maps depicting landmarks and drainage features along these transportation corridors now allow emergency responders to locate spills precisely with respect to karst recharge features. No one agency has the resources or authority to solve all threats to the water quality of the Mammoth Cave aquifer. The Mammoth Cave Area Biosphere Reserve has provided the cooperative platform for the improvement of water quality as well as promoting an ecologically sustainable economy.
Jim Nepstad Surface Developments above Wind Cave - Surveying the Impacts
A number of surface developments lie above Wind Cave, located within Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. Investigations have shown that contaminants found in parking lot runoff can make it into parts of the cave via drips in as little as six hours and will persist for years. It has also been shown that some of the sewer lines in this old national park are in disrepair and are likely to be leaking small amounts of sewage into the underlying cave. Finally a thorough site assessment on a former dumping grounds above the cave has revealed progressively decreasing amounts of pentachlorophenol in selected cave waters. Wind Cave National Park si attempting to mitigate these problems by securing funding for capturing and treating contaminated parking lot runoff, installing dual-contained sewer lines, and banning the disposal of wastes above the cave.
Jim Nieland, David Anderson, and Chandra Madrona Christmas Tree Cave Bat Gating Project, Mt. Adams Ranger District - May be withdrawn
Three significant maternity colonies of Townsend's big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii) are known to exist in Washington State. Christmas Tree Cave is a 1000 foot segment of lava tube with entrances at each end. It is unusual because it meets environmental criteria for both a maternity roost site and a hibernaculum for the species. The west entrance harbors a maternity colony of 125 animals. During a WDFW survey in 1995, a trail was discovered that was cut through heavy brush to the entrance. Because this species is thought to have undergone a decline throughout its range and is known to be intolerant of disturbance, the Cave Habitat Work Group organized an effort to gate the cave. The ad hoc Work Group, established in 1994 to address cave habitat issues and cave species in Washington State, consists of approximately 25 individuals from various public agencies and caving organizations. In the fall of 1996, over 46 volunteers provided 660 hours of labor to gate the cave. Seven tons of steel were carried to the two entrances, cut, and welded to fit the design for zero air flow disturbance bat gates. An exit survey will be conducted each year, and every three years hibernating bats will be counted. These surveys will monitor the effectiveness of the gating project in protecting Townsend's big-eared bats from disturbance. In February, 1997, 129 Townsend's big-eared bats were counted using the cave, an average number based on previous surveys. The hibernation survey shows acceptance of the gates by the species.
Rick Olson The Human Nature of Caving and Cave Conservation at Mammoth Cave National Park
The optimal management of cave resources is both complex and controversial. Mammoth Cave is certainly no exception, and given the history of use by our culture over the past two centuries, it is best to start with some statements that everyone concerned can agree with. (1) Within human lifetimes, or even that of human cultures, caves must be considered a non-renewable resource. (2) As National Park Service employees, we are charged with the conservation of cave resources such that they will remain unimpaired for future generation. Simultaneously, we are charged with the interpretation of these same cave resources to current generations. (3) In undeveloped passages, small groups (3 to 4 people) of highly experienced individuals traveling in single file cause the least damage. In particularly vulnerable areas, even the minimum possible damage may be unacceptable. Conversely, larger groups (30 to 40 people) can traverse passages with developed trails and have virtually no additional impact on the cave. Cavers are like most people in that they do not welcome change, especially regarding traditional activities. Caving ethics continually evolve, traditions tend not to, and tension results. In order to provoke thought about the state of cave conservation in the park, a set of field trip educational objectives at three successive levels were developed. These objectives ask participants to compare/contrast insidious and catastrophic impacts, ponder current policies, and recommend ways to achieve sustainability in our use of cave resources.
Rick Olson, John Fry, Joe Meiman, Bob Ward, Scott Henrickson, and Jeff Bradybaugh Cave Entrance Management: Principles and Practice at Mammoth Cave National Park
In terms of access and security, cave entrances are the door to the bank vault. In terms of physical, biological, and energy exchange, they are important portals between the surface and underground world. Entrances generally contain greater and more diverse historical, archeological, and paleontological resources than adjacent surface sites or locations deeper in the cave. There are many kinds of cave entrances, but operationally they may be clustered within a few categories which are differentiated by degree of anthropogenic influence. These categories are natural, modified-natural, and artificial. In addition to resource concerns and operational category, an optimal management prescription for a given cave entrance depends upon visitor use levels, proximity to high visitor use areas, degree of prominence or obscurity, and safety concerns. The principles of cave entrance management have been applied to eighteen entrances within the Park over the past three years, and a three year ecological restoration project in the Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave was recently initiated. The environmental needs of natural and cultural resources must be met while still providing access for more than a quarter million visitors each year.
Greg Passmore SpeleoMeshing: A Technique for High Definition Cave Surveys
A set of novel computer techniques for cave and mine mapping are collectively referred to as SpeleoMeshing. This process yields detailed volumetrics, dense meshes for structural finite element analysis and photorealistic rendering. the techniques are low cost, high in accuracy, and suitable for use on personal computers. The process is composed of three steps: collection of passageway profiles, conversion of the profiles into 3-dimensional modes and, optionally, collection and application of texturemaps on passageway walls for photorealistic rendering. The first step of the process uses a simple pocket laser to outline each passage profile along survey lines for photographic capture. The photograph is subsequently digitized and used to calculate passage profile axiometric distances. In the second step, the resulting axiometric passage profile data are extruded between profiles into a 3-dimensional wireframe mesh. These wireframe mesh data are suitable for high accuracy volumetric analysis and for structural finite element analysis. For high quality rendering, a third step, photographs of passageway walls are taken for color and texture definition. The resulting photographs are then texturemapped onto the 3-dimensional model and computer rendering techniques are used to produce near photorealistic renditions of the cave. This paper will present details of the process, a description of the tools needed, and examples of computer imagery resulting from SpeleoMeshing.
Dale Pate Conservation/Restoration Efforts in the Caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park are extremely fragile, and tremendous damage has been done in the past. Numerous restoration projects are ongoing in Carlsbad Caverns, Lechugilla Cave, and a few other park caves. Along with restoration efforts, ways to limit future impact are being explored with good success. Various projects will be highlighted, with illustrations of progress. Much of this work could not be done without the dedication of numerous volunteers who give their time to preserve and protect the caves of the park.
Garry Petrie Restoration of the Caves of Central Oregon
Fifteen years ago, the NSS held its annual convention in Bend, Oregon. Since that time, the local population has increased threefold, and the interest in outdoor recreation has exploded. At the same time, the USFS and the BLM have seen their budgets to manage these recreational resources diminish. The caves of the Bend area, once showcased by the NSS, are now marred, vandalized, dumped on, and encroached upon. The review of the current situation and the time line that led to it is intended to spur people into action. In 1993, seven caves were bolted with sport climbing routes. In 1996, the BLM took the unprecedented action of ceding six significant caves to the State of Oregon. That same year, a book was published documenting the vanishing Native American pictographs in these caves. In 1997, the USFS and BLM finally acknowledged the caves were at risk by banning climber's chalk and initiating new seasonal closures for bat habitat. The community has begun to notice and clean up has started in Horse Cave and the Redmond Airport Caves.
Jason M. Richards A New Map for Carlsbad Caverns
Through the years, Carlsbad Cavern has had an ongoing mapping project. In the 1960's and early 1970's. the Guadalupe Cave Survey (GCS) was the primary group surveying in Carlsbad Cavern. The "old timers" of the GCS were the forerunners and trailblazers to much of the cave we know today. In the early 1970's, the GCS joined ranks with the Cave Research Foundation (CRF). Along with CRF came survey procedures, however, a set of park approved standards was lacking. Up until the early 1990's, much of the survey in Carlsbad Cavern was resurvey. There were resurveys over resurveys, floor detail on sketches was omitted, and there were no running profiles and very few cross-sections. Survey designation numbers were out of control, with some designations having as many as nine characters. Foresights on the azimuths were not verified by backsights, and inaccurate loop closures were common. Although not required at that time, there was no inventory of important features tied to the survey. The impact to the cave was tremendous by repeatedly surveying the same areas. For all of the above reason, and the fact that Carlsbad Caverns was now designated a World Heritage Site, the consensus of the Cave Resource Office staff and the leaders of CRF (Guadalupe Escarpment Area) was that a high quality working map was needed. This paper will demonstrate the reasons for our decision by the use of examples and will show the progress of the new survey.
Jonathan Rollins An Inventory of Caves and Related Karst Features in the Canadian Rockies, with Management Recommendations
Stretching for 1,450 km from the Yukon border in the north to the US border in the south, and 150 km from the Alberta foothills in the east to the Rocky Mountain Trench in the west, the inventoried area covers 180,000 sq km, with carbonates being the predominant rock type. The inventory includes 175 caves with detailed descriptions, surveys and management recommendations. The majority of caves are alpine, with entrances located above the tree line (average altitude - 2,000 m). As you would expect with alpine caves, depth, not length is the dominant feature. Nine caves are approximately 250 m deep, and the majority of caves contain pitches. Karst areas have been heavily glaciated, with large areas of exposed pavement and felsenmeer common. Many karst areas are bordered by active glaciers and associated moraine features. The caves tend to be in isolated locations, the majority requiring at least a one day hike from a vehicle. Remarkable caves include the 20 km long Castleguard Cave ending in an ice-plugged passage beneath the Columbia Icefield, the 536 m deep Arctomys Cave, Close to the Edge Cave with a 244 m deep entrance shaft, and the 12 km long Yorkshire Pot with 200 m of entrances pitches. A simple three level management classification system has been suggested, based on access and the occurrence of special features. Recommendations have been made for specific caves.
John Roth Biotic Carrying Capacity at Oregon Caves
Based on microbial, macroinvertebrate, and bat surveys at Oregon Caves, efforts have been made to establish limits on the size, location, and number of public cave tours so that significant and irreversible resource damage does not occur. Macroinvertebrate biodiversity, bat roosting sites, and relatively slow growing microbial colonies near the tour route appear to be affected by human visitors. Baited traps were placed in such areas to determine whether >10 % of macroinvertebrate populations are being affected by trail traffic. Similar studies are on-going with bats. Lag effects and the impacts of organic enrichment, airflow, trail surfaces, artificial lights, trampling, bat gates, vibrations, and noise disturbance are discussed.
Bill Route, Tom Bemis, and David Roemer (Carlsbad Caverns National Park); Val Hildreth-Werker and Jim Werker (Southwest Composites and Photography) Methods for Monitoring Large Colonies of Mexican Free-tailed Bats - Poster Presentation
Carlsbad Cavern host a colony of several hundred thousand Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis). Colony size, behavior, and roost geography have all proven problematic for obtaining accurate abundance estimates. Past methods have varied from gross ocular counts to complex calculations using video and still photography. No method has provided a measure of precision nor has any method proven valuable as an index to trends. Two methods are being investigated for routine monitoring of this colony. The first method involves taking repeated infrared photographs from fixed points under the roost. Colony size is then estimated from the area of the ceiling covered by bats. The second method depends on a remote microphone and data logger to continuously record flight noise. Nightly noise levels, measured in decibels, are graphed and the area under this curve serves as an index to abundance. Together, the two methods should provide valid estimates of annual trends.
Robert R. Stitt Cave Conservation and Management on the World Wide Web: Part II
Since the last National Cave Management Symposium, where a paper was given describing cave conservation on the Internet, the use of the Internet and the World Wide Web has grown until millions of Americans are regular users, and there are over 65 million pages indexed on the World Wide Web. Sites providing cave conservation and management information on the Web have proliferated. Most NSS grottos now have home pages and thousands of cavers regularly communicate by e-mail. This paper provides information on where to find information on the Internet and what some of the trends have been over the last two years. A starting point for entry is the Cave Conservation and Management Section's Home Page which can be reached through the NSS home page http://www.caves.org
Tim Stokes Digital Cave/Karst Potential Mapping in Northern Vancouver Island: A Strategic Forestry Planning Tool
A first and crucial step in planning for management of forest resources on karst terrain is the identification of karst areas. A digital, 1:250,000 scale, bedrock map for Northern Vancouver Island was adapted by GIS techniques to provide a strategic cave/karst potential map, using data from previous cave/karst potential maps manually compiled in 1994. These data included information on known number of caves, karst presence or absence, and level of inspection. The first step was to identify limestone-bearing units within the region and develop a set of polygon data. Limestone-bearing units included Quatsino and Parson Bay Formations, Buttle Lake Group, and undivided Kannutsen Quatsino unit. A selective process was used to group or divide polygons to assist in the designation of attribute information. A numerical rating scheme was developed from attribute data to provide low, moderate, or high ratings for cave/karst potential. Bedrock type was the primary factor controlling the potential. Massive limestone-bearing units with numerous reports of cave/karst features were generally rated as high. Interbedded limestone-argillite units rated as moderate. Formations where limestone was a minor component of the unit were rated as low, unless known caves were present to increase this rating. Other attributes to be included in future revisions of the rating system include limestone composition, regional structure, biogeoclimatic zonation, topographic elevations, and surficial material cover. It is intended to extend this strategic mapping procedure to other forested karst regions of the province. The principal benefit of this digital mapping method is its flexibility, easily providing maps of individual parameters as well as the overall cave/karst potential rating. In addition, it is a valuable tool for information storage and for data distribution to users.
Jim Werker and Val Hildreth-Werker Restoration, Trail Designation, and Microbial Preservation in Lechuguilla Cave
A decade of travel in Lechuguilla Cave has resulted in visitation impacts and management goals that may be applicable to the conservation of other cave systems. Located in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Lechuguilla was first entered during 1986 and now has more than ninety miles of surveyed passage. Untouched, virgin areas are still being discovered. Significant microbial communities are being investigated in Lechuguilla. Sadly, main trails through the cave have become well-worn paths displaying human impact. Misplaced footsteps and hand prints mar pristine rooms. Thus, the National Park Service is actively identifying ways to lessen caver impact and methods to avoid contamination. Efforts in Lechuguilla focus on preservation of pristine areas, definition of trails, and development of techniques that minimize disturbance of the microbiota. In Lechuguilla Cave techniques are being implemented to preserve natural features and precautions are being encouraged to decrease human impact on biota.
Mike Yocum National Cave Survey Data Collection Standards
A proposal for a minimal set of cave survey data collection standards has been developed by representatives from agencies and organizations that work in caves on federally-owned land. This proposal defines minimal standards for the collection of cave survey data on federally-owned lands, for the purpose of facilitating legitimate exchange of survey data. Because these standards are national in scope, the aim was to allow optimum flexibility in the specific methods employed to collect the data. Individual federal land managers retain the ability to develop site-specific standards that are more detailed than the minimal base set.
Carol Zokaites (presented by Margot Geisler) Project Underground - Poster Presentation
Project Underground is an environmental education program designed to build awareness of, and foster responsible attitudes toward, karst resources and their management needs. The Project's aim is to educate the young public about the value of conserving these valuable karst resources. Project Underground is designed for kindergarten through high school age students. The program consists of a curriculum guide and teacher training workshops. Activities in the curriculum guide consist of student games, projects, and discussions for classroom use. The people who participate in these activities will gain an understanding of how the underground environment is an integral and important part of the total environment. These students and teachers will learn that cave and karst resources are very fragile and that we should respect, conserve, and protect these resources. Project Underground is based on a Training the Teacher model. Interested educators are trained to be certified facilitators, who then lead Project Underground workshops, helping more educators to gain a better understanding of Project Underground and its karst awareness program. The Project Underground materials are available through attendance through these workshops. The workshops and materials are a source of interdisciplinary instructional activities and provide in-service programs for classroom teachers, cavern, park, museum, nature center staff, and youth oriented group leaders.