Cave and Karst Management Plan Environmental Assessment


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Publication Date

January 2006


Carlsbad Caverns National Park proposes to update the park Cave and Karst Management Plan that guides activities that may have an effect on cave resources. Cave resources include not only the cave walls, floors, ceilings and speleothems, but any cultural or biological features contained within caves. Karst resources include all physical features that influence the underground system, including but not limited to soils, bedrock, and natural drainage systems. Visitor service operations, concession operations, cooperating association operations, and National Park Service personnel management are not within the scope of this management plan. Park staff and external stakeholders identified six primary goals to use in developing and evaluating alternatives for the Cave and Karst Management Plan: 1) Protect, restore, and perpetuate natural cave and karst systems and processes. 2) Collect and maintain data sets on caves, karst and associated resources to high standards. 3) Encourage, facilitate, and conduct high-quality scientific study of cave and karst systems. 4) Provide a wide range of recreational opportunities for visitors to discover, appreciate, respect, and enjoy the park’s cave and karst resources. 5) Support cave and karst systems education and outreach. 6) Promote safety of visitors and employees in and around caves and karst. 7) Do not allow major impacts or impairment to resources.

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