Caves & Karst Program


Stewardship of Caves and Karst   


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.