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Save the Caves!

We in the Western Region are fortunate to have numerous caves on public land, and good relationships with landowners. But many caves are in danger of vandalism, harm to unique biological specimens, or even being quarried away. (Have you ever seen a cave with its walls removed? It's not a pretty sight.) There are a number of organizations that are concerned with acquiring and managing cave and karst properties, so that the caves may be enjoyed into the future.

What is a cave "conservancy?"

A cave conservancy is an organization that has as its main objective the purchase and management of cave or karst properties, generally in a particular geographic region. There are several cave conservancies affiliated with the NSS, including two of particular interest to those in the Western Region.

The Cave Conservancy of Hawai'i is a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the cave systems within the state of Hawai'i. The CCH acquires and manages caves for scientific study, educates individuals interested in speleology, and conserves cave resources on the islands of Hawai`i. Several caves in Hawai'i have significant archeological, biological, paleontological or geological resources. These caves need the protection of caring individuals like yourself.

The Western Cave Conservancy is dedicated to securing permanent protection for threatened caves in the western continental United States.

For a full list of cave conservancies affiliated with the NSS, see the Official List of NSS Cave Conservancies under the Cave Conservancies Committee website.

What is a cave "preserve?"

The NSS either owns or manages several cave properties. These are called cave "preserves."

Great X (or Great Expectations Cave) is the newest NSS preserve, and the only cave that the NSS has outright purchased in the Western United States. However, the NSS needs help to pay off the mortage.

For a full list of NSS cave preserves see the NSS Preserves Page.

How can you help?

All of the above organizations cannot do their work without donations. Please take the time to look at the webpages, and familiarize yourself with the goals of each organization. Donating funds or assets -- even a small amount will help. If you work for a company that has a matching gift program, even better. Encourage your friends and family to donate on your behalf in lieu of a gift (who needs more stuff to clutter up the house anyhow?). Let your caving friends know that they too have an opportunity to "save the caves."

And remember to always "cave softly."

The URL for this page is <http://www.caves.org/region/western/savecaves.html>.
If you have any questions, comments, or corrections about this document, please contact: mproffit@nyx.net
Last update: 10 June 2004