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Caves & Karst

Page 1 of the Significant Cave Nomination Worksheet.
Significant Caves Designation Call for National Forest System Lands

Use the updated Significant Cave Nomination Form to nominate caves in your area!

Natural mineral formations inside a cave.
Celebrating Blanchard Springs Caverns’ 50th Anniversary

Blanchard Springs Caverns, located on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests in Arkansas, will celebrate its 50th year of operation on July 7, 2023. (Under Earth Images, by Dave Bunnell)

Daisy Morgan sitting on a rock inside a cave tunnel.
Caves & Karst - Educational Resources

Learn more about caves & karst on our educational resources web page.

Looking out from inside an ice cave in winter.
Ice Cave

A popular 650 foot long cave in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, with beautiful display of ice stalactites and ice stalagmites early in the season. (Photo by Ahrlin Baughman)

Stewardship of Caves and Karst

Beaver Falls Karst Trail Sign
Beaver Falls Karst Trail on the Tongass National Forest  Read More

Caves and karst resources occur in over 100 National Forests across the United States. The Forest Service has identified significant caves on these National Forests, often with the assistance of partners such as the National Speleological Society and Cave Research Foundation.

Caves and karst resources require special management because they support critical groundwater systems and unique biological communities. They also provide information about climate change, human history, paleontological resources, and minerals. The Forest Service manages caves and karst resources in keeping with the 1988 Federal Cave Resources Protection act and in accordance with the multiple use mission of the agency.

Blanchard Springs Caverns. Photo credit: Dave Bunnell  Read More
Blanchard Springs Caverns. Photo Courtesy of Dave Bunnell  Read More

Forest Service Caves & Karst Research Publications

Assessing the effect of climate change on carbon sequestration in a Mexican dry forest in the Yucatan Peninsula
September 21, 2015

Streamflow and nutrients from a karst watershed with a downstream embayment: Chapel Branch Creek
February 2014

Relationships of three species of bats impacted by white-nose syndrome to forest condition and management
August 2016

Beneath the Forest Newsletter

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