Alaskan Caver

Alaskan Caver

Material Information

Alaskan Caver
Series Title:
Alaskan Caver
Alternate Title:
Alaska Caver
Pease, Chuck
National Speleological Society (Alaskan Cave Areas Conservation Task Force)
National Speleological Society (Glacier Grotto)
University of Alaska Southeast (School of Arts and Sciences)
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: President's Corner: Publicity and Caving -- Slate Cave -- Three POWIE Adventures, 1990 -- Old Things Found in Caves -- Mmm Mmm Good, Captain Soup Cave -- March Meeting in Ketchikan -- Management of the Karst Areas Within the Ketchikan Area of the Tongass National Forest, Southeastern Alaska -- Members in the News.
Open Access - Permission by Author(s)
Original Version:
Vol. 11, no. 6 (1991)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-00220 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.220 ( USFLDC Handle )
4380 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

USFLDC Membership

Added automatically
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



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VmEmSI;AWChVER Number 6 Tho Ateelrsn Qver [fSSN 073F0481] Is the I marmf ttent pubL fmtf on of thm Olael er Grotto of the Hat=ional Speleologlcal SocCet$. th~ri@t ?9W by thsGLscfsr6rotta kt8tj8L~ not ccpyri.(ehtsd by indiwlduds or by other graupa nq bs mplad by athar MSS hbllmtfons prwfhd credit Is given to the abthor nrtd Kfhe ALaskBn Qvq and a mpy is mnt to tha Ed1 tor [address balar]. Back I ssms mre mailable fm a0 Predlnt for 12 each. Sand ~rrtIcLe8, Lettarst m6 1-6, snnounoBrnent6, trl p reports, csve aurvsya, drajngg photographer and ma forth diraetly to Uim Edftor. Optnlane sxprssssd nimln are mt rmwmwrlly th~w of Jha Alaa'kan hverr ?he Gtoder Grotto, or tho HSS. hmhrshlp 1s own to all Interastsd in Aloalmn psve diemvery, ~xplorntton~ b8crlpfianr wnrey, mappingr photography, @~P(ILO#S morphologyl biolo~y~ pologj, hfatory. spsteopmnswfm and ather speleeen promems conssmatlon, MmgswnS mbventrss& and the fellaship uf AEssltan carers. Annral dues are M6 for Indivfduet or 820 for ImiLy mmbarehlp. Add tB to &an 1P warmas and aI mail prsaga 1s pgfarrod mw 8ur9sca. Insti FuElonsl mvbeeri ptlons are 820 per rdraa (6 4~sms), are due an Janmry 1 and ere mant to thm Tremsurer (addrsss bet ar), payrble to Glacl mr Gmtto. fhnm J ot ntng for tho tlrat tlme bsPemn Octnbmr 7 and Dember 31 will be mnsicbred ps4d through the foilartng yaar. Dws smtus Is 1ndlmtad on the malLtna LmbaL. Anchomga maatlnga ara had at SrSOpn on the mwndUsdnesday of uch menth [Lo~tion IMoraatlon on back cnvrr]. Wetlines hold In near arwe arm not ragularty rehedulsdl mnd mq ba arranged through the mpproprlats Vi ca Re# hnt. Nma Address afY StZip Hane Work FresIdmt J RmWdlt Jr 29446norySt An&orageAK99508 277-7150 277-7B VP North ~k Geuser 1666 Carr he Fairbanks AK 99709 4566953 452-1414 VPSbnt hrvink-kler POBox100738 hchorageM99510 212-8766 272-8766 V P SEast Kev f n A1 1 red P 0 Box 376 Haf rws AX 99827 via &INS" v la WNS' Secretary Jack Massie 3440 W 86th Apt 8 hchorage PK 99502 248-2047 349-8587 Treasurer W Harvey Bwers305 SBartlett Cr Wasilla M99587 376-2294 373-2247 Ed4 tor hrvinktzler POBm100738 AncfiorageArC99510 272-3766 272-8766 NJlkg6?ephveKifnger POBox537 leav num WA 96826 54E-54897 54b5480t hg Chad r Jd7n J awn 17907 Tonsi ra Ct Eagle Riv PK 99577 694-2953 694-2963 MBnberdi; p hrl Cl ask Sr P 0 &ax 2725 hl mr AK 99645 current1 y no phone bnservatn J f m Ferpson P 0 Bax 20908 3 meau AK 99802 463-3829 789-3153. Cave Rescu Gene iKy i e 201 E 9th F6n 300 Anchorage r9K 99501 248-3297 271-2424 Messages may h annommd to Win daily via radfo statlm WUS at (907) 76&2020 The area code fcr Dave Kl inger in Leareworth, Wastrlngton i s (5095 (bth nunkrsl Cwer: Ella Allred fin Dimple Cave, 1990 (PLWLE IV), Photo by Carlene Allred. Table of mrrtents Presidentts Corner: Publlclty and Caving ....,.. Slate Cave, ...................... Three POW I Adventures, 1990 .............. 01 d Thfngs Found in Cares ............... hrn Mnm Good, Captafn Soup Cave ............ hrch Meet1 ng f n Ketchi kan ............... Management of the Karst Areas Withln the Ketchikan Area OF the Tongass National Forest, Southeastern dl aska hbers In the News .................. Pap 2 l3e A1 askan Caver Volme 11 Number 6 December 1991


Prestdentls Corner: Publicdty and Caving There is a well-justifled differ ence of opinion among cavers about the amount of infonation the publlc should k? prwi ded about caves and caving. On one extreme are those who feel that all knowledge developed frm the cavfng experience should be kept secret wlthin the groupr lest others ffnd out about the cave(s1 and I11 deprive the finders of the opportunity to enJoy the caves or 12) use the caves and elther willfully or i nadvertantly destroy the1 r aesthetf c and scientlf i c qua1 i ties. On the other extrme are those who woul d pub1 l sh a1 1 information developed and describe the location of each cave and Its contents i n entl ci ng detaf 1 The optlrnum degree and nature of public aducat'lon required depends on the c'lscmstances of each cave and seglon 1 mrol ved, Exq ui si te show caves, where access is rigorously control 1 ed by accmpany 4 ng gui des, can be well described and publicized without danger to the cave. For caves in sparsely inhabited areas the danger Is greater, and speci a1 procedures need to be f 01 1 wed, But 1 ifs is not simplistic, For i nstance* 1 n West Vi rgi nl a# before caving became really popular, sinkholes were used ar dl sposal areas for dead cows, garbage, old cars, and other noxlous sol id wades, Many cave entrances were filled because they were consi dered hazardous and Inconvenient. Then wI th the publication of Daviesvs book whIch descrfbed locations in detail# cavtng became popul ar among the 1 ocal i nhabl tants and they put a stop to the destructlve practices. Since thenF increased trafflc affected the hf bernation of bats# increased wear and tear on caves# and resul ted I n sane vandal i sm. Steps were taken to gate the caves and otherwise prevent entry. With fewer caves avall abl e to expl ore, the youth of the regfon found other pursuits, and now, accordlng to Harvey Ewers, sinkholes are once agaf n beginning to cel lect solid wastes 1 n all their noxious varjety. It has not been the Glacier Grotto's policy te popularize cavfng, but the popular support the Forest Servtm is recei v i ng regardl ng caves encourages than to take their cave management re sponsibftitfes seriously. Before our arrival on Prince of Wales Island, there was a tendency to dump 1 ogging trash and road flll into cave entrances and sf nkhol es, Sme i ndl; v 1 dual s may have been col 1 ecti ng spel eothems. The Grotto is concerned about any threat to the caves and the4 r contents, and a1 so the dangers of exposing errthus~astlc but unl nf ormed and untrai ned woul d-be cavers to thls vast coll ection of vertical shafts. For the past several years we have been mapping extensive cave systems on Pr i nce of W a1 es Is1 and 1 n Southeast A1 aska. These caves were not known until 1987, when one was mapped. Flve were mapped fn 1988# Welve In 1989# and ei ghteen 1 n 1990, The reason for this stepped-up effort was that It was found that me of the 1 oggi ng psacti as in the Tongass National Forest were destroy 1 ng caves. The caves are 1 ocated I n 1 lmestone bedrock call ed karst. Karst f s characterized by sl nki ng strems, si nkhol es, caves, sprf rigs, dry val 1 eys, and similar features indicative of underground drainage devel oped through the sol &ion of bedrock. It was reported that 60% of the karst features were caveconnected on unl ogged karst, wh il e only 10% to 20% of the karst features were caveconnected on othenlse cunparabl e c7 earcut karst. Fran thf s, one could figure that clea~utttng~ as practl md, destroyed over ha1 f of the cave entrances. In the cl earcutti ng method of 3 oggi ngt a1 7 trees are cut down: the loggers then haul out what trunks they want and 1 eave the rest. Because these forests are x, thick, it is difficult to walk through what Is left because the "sl ashfF, as they -1 2 It# is about f lve or more feet thlck. Cave entrances were covered because 1 oggers would push thls slash Iwto the entrances or sinkhol @st where It would rot. Bull ders of logglng rmds would fill In the cave entrances as they bullt the roads over December 1991 Yo'lune I1 Number 6 The A1 askan Caver Page 3


or close to then. Both the loggers and the road bull ders cons1 dered these pits to be hazardous nufsances. In additl on" th s vegetative matt on the steep si des of sinkholes mould be destroyed by the dragging across of cut trees; Me raw exposed earth woul d then erode 1 nto the caves. A? sor increased erosion due to logglng and road construction Is causing gravel and other sol1 s to wash i n and fill cave passages, often wdth nonsol uble material. This filling process, In sane cases, is continuing decades after the logging had taken place. We have already found nerr gravel bars In cave strems, fhe Forest Service has recently real fled that the caves should be saved. Steps are belng taken to protect cave entranms by mwlng boundaries of units to be so1 d to logglng cmpaniss, estab1 jshf ng buffer strlps around cave entrances# and mwlng paths of nw roads away fran caves. Two members of our Grotto were hlred by the Forest Service to search for caves In sections to be clrt before logging takes place. Then, during one month this past smer, abut a score of cavers (our Grotto members, ten at a time) survqed wer f ffty of these newly-discovered caves--& In areas that were to be cut. Buffer strf ps are belng recmended around a11 cave entrances. For caves wer 1000 feet In length* larger buffer strips are baing recommended, as re11 as buffer strips around drai naps 1 nto karst feat urss assocfated wfth thm. The success of fmplementing these procedures* and the success of their effects# of coursep remain to be seen. Other than the f Ill ing i n of cave entrances wlth slash and road f Ill and the fflllng of cave passages with gravel carried In by esesi on* the col 1 ectf on of speleothms by individuals is also a problem. Thls is being discouraged by the Na t I onal Cave Re sources Psotecti on Act of 1988~ which came along at just the right time for us, Also$ keeping cave l ocatt ons secret until a managanent plan has been developed should help. We have a mdcr pub1 ic educatdon task to adutate residePrts, tourists# and the many transient workers to respect the i ntegrlty of the caves. So far, we estlrnate less than 5% of all the caves on the Island may have been mapped. Beta use of the nati onal and 1 ocal publlclty In the press and in local talks and other medt a events, suppart for the Forest Service activltles In cave protect1 on, and general w areness of it As on the rise. The Forest Serv See Is plannfng to open a selected cave or t~o to the publ 1 c I n I992 and more 1 ater as the development of cave management pl ans unf 01 d. Thef r determi na ti on to do this has been largely the result of Interest demonstrated on the part of the publ ic. These plans* mpt ete with interpretatfve signs and walks, are blng designed for the general publ-ic. Hopef UP 1 y, the2 r imp1 mentati an w 11 1 strengthen resolve to protect cares and especi a1 1 y reduce destruction of the entrances caused by poor logging and road buildfng practices, Without this effort the destructdon of the caves would continue. Thus$ in the Interest of cave conservation, neither extrme should be followed and a careful, more central, pol Icy needs to be developed to assure that the resource 15 protected and* at the same timer used for the enjoyment and education of the pub1 fc for the present and 1 n the f utwre, a Nw Anchorage Area Wing Schedule Members sesl di ng i n SorrthCemtral A1 aska received a postcard survey a1 ong with their October Issue of The Alaqkan tlav_er. In the past weeks, about a dozen recipients responded to the survey, and those responses h ave now been sv a1 uated. Check1 ng both confl icts and preferences$ the best weekdays were Wednesday and Thursday. The tally was clos8, but it turns out that the most preferred and least mnfl icting day of week of month was the fourth Wedm&yl and so thus It shall be. Therefore, our next meetlng wfll km on Wednesday* Wry 22. Page 4 'The A1 askan Caver Yo1 me 11 Nmber 6 December 1991


51 ate hve by Carl ene A71 red Slate Cave was discwered in the spring of 1990, during the U.S. Forest Serv i ce blo1 ogi cal cave s u rv ey. J 1 rn Anderson and Kwi n Allred were searching the south side of El Capitan Peak for surface specdmens enterj ng El Capi tan Cave, when they happened upon a surface stream. It wandered across some slate bedrock until it hit the limestone. Upon contact, the stream irnmedlately pl unged don n a twenty-foot-di ameter shaft and disappeared. Kevin noted this especially-impressive cave lead, naned

Contents: President's
Corner: Publicity and Caving --
Slate Cave --
Three POWIE Adventures, 1990 --
Old Things Found in Caves --
Mmm Mmm Good, Captain Soup Cave --
March Meeting in Ketchikan --
Management of the Karst Areas Within the Ketchikan Area
of the Tongass National Forest, Southeastern Alaska --
Members in the News.


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