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Guadalupe Caves Update

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Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 81
Location: West Valley City, Utah

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject: Guadalupe Caves Update Reply with quote

Preface from Jim and Val:

Tues, 9 Feb 2010

On behalf of the NSS, we met this week with Lincoln National Forest (NM) management staff, and discussed cave management and stewardship concerns facing the Guadalupe Ranger District. We emphasized that knowledgeable, skilled NSS members are available to offer assistance in the Guads. The Lincoln National Forest is working to enhance Cave Management Programs through ongoing cooperative partnerships and asked that we forward the following letter to the caving community.

Jim C. Werker & Val Hildreth-Werker
NSS Conservation Division Chiefs


--- Original Message from the Lincoln National Forest ---

From: Jacque A Buchanan
Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010
Subject: Lincoln National Forest Cave Management Update

The Lincoln National Forest (LNF) is in the process of expanding and building upon the Forest Cave Management Program. The caves on the Guadalupe Ranger District near Carlsbad, New Mexico are recognized nationally as world class cave resources. Scientists and other cave enthusiasts come from around the world to use these caves to conduct research or recreate in this unique underground environment. Caves also occur in the Sacramento Mountains on the Sacramento and Smokey Bear Ranger Districts.

Many opportunities exist for Federal, State, and local agencies to build new and enhance existing partnerships with each other and with the caving communities. These partnerships can help us all move more quickly to unite our efforts in setting goals and implementing strategies to protect, enhance, and enjoy this precious resource.

Towards this end, the LNF is in the process of gathering cave management leadership in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (NPS) to explore, expand, and energize our collective efforts to forge a more robust and sustainable cave management program for the LNF. We will identify and set in motion those areas in which we can immediate begin working together. We will also identify and position ourselves to take quick action in those areas where we can expand our efforts to achieve and maintain national prominence as leaders in collaborative cave management.

We are also inviting national, regional, and local caving community leadership to join in this dialogue. These long-standing partners bring a rich tradition of cave management leadership to the conversation as well as experience gained by thousands of hours of cave restoration work they have provided over many years.

The wealth of cave management experience, skills, and knowledge which resides both geographically and virtually around the caves of the Guadalupe Mountains is also "world class." Once we have reconnected all interested partners and agree on actions that need to be taken, we will continue the important work of moving forward, together, to achieve our mutual goals.

In the interim, cave use permits will continue to be issued on a priority basis. The following uses will receive first priority:

  • Research/Restoration
  • Existing Special Use Permits
  • Existing agreements with other federal or state agencies (BLM, NPS, etc.)

Cave use permits for recreational caving and caves with vertical access will be issued after the Forest Service has ensured safety and cave resource protection concerns are properly addressed.

To ensure that we continue to receive valued input from the caving community, I invite you all to attend a meeting at the Forest Service office in Carlsbad, NM on February 22, 6pm. This interface will allow us to better exchanges ideas about improving the management of these national treasures. Please share this email with your friends and networks in the caving community.


Jacqueline Buchanan
Forest Supervisor
Lincoln National Forest
(575) 644-9768
Duane McCully
NSS 39454
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