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Publication Date

November 2013

Document Type



Rodney D. Horrocks Wind Cave National Park 26611 US Highway 385 Hot Springs, South Dakota, 57747-6027, USA, Rod_ AbstractThe national Cave Visitor Impact Vital Signs Monitoring Protocol is an attempt to standardize visitor impact monitoring in all National Park Service managed caves. With standardized monitoring in place, it will be feasible for the first time to compare monitoring data from caves across the country. This cave monitoring protocol was initiated at the NPS Cave Vital Signs Workshop held in Lakewood, Colorado in 2008. That workshop identified the vital signs that were common to all caves, including cave visitor impact. A committee convened at that workshop decided that the cave visitor impact monitoring protocol would address four parameters of human impact on caves, which include: cave visitation, visitor touching, speleothem breakage, and cave visitor traffic. This protocol is now in draft form and is being presented to the wider cave management community for review purposes. Open Access - Permission by Publisher See Extended description for more information.





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