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Publication Date

November 2013

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Ray Keeler Central Arizona Grotto, NSS 26406 N. 43rd Avenue Phoenix, Arizona, 85083 USA Richard Bohman Central Arizona Grotto, NSS 3051 E. Corrine Drive Phoenix, Arizona, 85032 USA AbstractArizona National Forest land managers have a multitude of tasks and priorities; historically, caves and karst management has not been amongst the priorities receiving any significant allocation of resources. When caves and karst management is not included in the Forest Plan, even when large and significant cave and karst areas exist, active cave and karst management often falls below the waterline of available manpower and resources. Additionally, there is entropy associated with normal changes in personnel assignments and new staff coming onboard. When combined with a general lack of written policies and guidelines, these personnel transitions lead to unnecessary degradation of the karst and caves. Three areas impacted by lack of caves and karst policy include timber management (sales and thinning), water recharge protection (buffer zones), and cave management (under the recreation department). This paper is intended for Forest managers whose units contain significant karst and caves, but have no allocated staff in these areas. The paper presents clear and acceptable guidelines and policies that can be implemented in a uniform manner. Integral to these guidelines is the inclusion of Karst and Cave Areas as a separate land use designation in the Forest Plan. With karst listed as a land use designation in the Forest Plan, references to a separate Cave and Karst Management Plan document can be made. Additionally, the Cave and Karst Management Plan can be updated without having to go through the extremely long Forest Plan amendment process. The Arizona National Forest Cave and Karst Management Plan has been created to address this need. It is located at and provides clear management tools for the Forest cave resources. Open Access - Permission by Publisher See Extended description for more information.





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