Beneath the Forest

Beneath the Forest

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Beneath the Forest
Series Title:
Beneath the Forest
Kovarik, Johanna L.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture (Forest Service)
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Subjects / Keywords:
Resource Management ( local )
Cave Ecology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: Editor's notes -- Cave management vs. karst management / Tom Collins -- Impacts of cave closures on national forest lands / Cynthia Sandeno -- The Indiana Bat Adaptive Management Project, Sylamore Ranger District, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, Arkansas / David H. Jurney, PhD -- Partnership between Mark Twain National Forest and Ozark operations of the Cave Research Foundation / Kelly Whitsett -- INFRA cave module is live / Cynthia Sandeno -- The longest cave in Louisiana: Wolf/Wolfbear Cave re-mapped / C. F. Cicciarella, J. Wakeman, L. Beard, B. Hecox, M. Labatt, R. Lay, C. Rogers, E. Sabol, and L. Wilks. "Beneath the Forest" is the Forest Service newsletter about cave and karst resources that is published biannually. Articles are submitted from Forest Service cave and karst resource managers, other field personnel, and volunteers as well as stakeholders from National Speleological Society Grottos, the Cave Research Foundation, and university research groups." -- USDA Forest Service (
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 5, no. 2 (2012)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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K26-00491 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.491 ( USFLDC Handle )
11855 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Beneath the Forest 1 Beneath the Forest" is a biannual newsletter published by th e Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Edited by Johanna L. Kovarik, Minerals and Ge ology Management Centralized National Operations Volume 5, Issue 2 Fall 2012 Inside this Issueand more Page Cave Management vs. Karst Management on the Washington and Jefferson National Forests 3 Impacts of Cave Closures on National Forests 8 The Longest Cave in Louisiana: Wolf/ Wolfbear Cave Remapped 16 The Indiana Bat Adaptive Management Project on the Ozark and St. Francis National Forests 9 Partnership Between Mark Twain National Forest and Ozark Operations of the Cave Research Foundation 12


Beneath the Forest 2 CAVE AND KARST CALENDAR OF EVENTS ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Forest Service Caves INFRA Training Module Friday November 9th, 2012 9:00 AM 10:00 AM ET and 4:00 PM 5:00 PM ET For more information, see page 15 13th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes May 6th 10th, 2013 Carlsbad, New Mexico National Cave Rescue Operations and Management Seminar July 6th th 2013 Schoharie, New York International Congress of Speleology July 21st-28th, 2013 Brno, Czech Republic Editors Notes: The focus of Beneath the Forest this fall is Region 8, our southern region. I would chiefly like to thank Michael Crump, the regional hydrologist, for working to gather articles and photos from his region for this issue. I would also like to thank all the contributors to this issue as well as Melody Holm for assistance, support, and editing. Thanks go to Sonja Beavers in the national Office of Communication for assistance with creating the external version of this newsletter. The original issue was published internally in November of 2012. Our next issue will be the spring issue in May of 2013, featuring Region 4. Articles for the Spring 2013 issue are due a on April 1st, 2013, in order for the issue to be out in May 2013. Please encourage resource managers, cavers, karst scientists, and other speleological enthusiasts who do work on your forest to submit articles for the next exciting issue! Cover art: Gravel bed of sinking stream that disappears into a cave at the base of dolomite pinnacles (in shadow) in blind canyon in Raven Cliff Karst Area, Mt Rogers NRA, Wythe County, VA. Image: T. Collins Contributors and Entities represented in this issue: Tom Collins Washington and Jefferson National Forests Gretchen Hunt-Moore Kisatchie National Forest David H. Jurney, PhD Ozark-St Francis National Forests Cynthia Sandeno Monongahela National Forest Kelly Whitsett Mark Twain National Forest


Beneath the Forest 3 Cave Management vs. Karst Management Tom Collins Forest Geologist George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Cave management is an important part, but only one part of karst management on the George Washington and Jefferson Nati onal Forests in Virginia and West Virginia. The 1.8 million acre forest stretching over 300 miles has tens of thousands of acres of karst in three physiogra phic provinces: Valley and Ridge, Appalachian Plateau, and Blue Ridge. The karst is in northeast-trending lin ear patches of limestone and dolomite. About 100 known caves are scattered across the Forests karst lands. In terms of area, the surface area underlain by underground cave passages is a relatively small, but significant, part of the forests karst resources which are distributed over a much larger area. These resources also include: 1. Many types of karst features, such as sinkholes, disappearing (sin king) streams, springs, karst ponds, etc.; 2. karst groundwater and surface water; and 3. karst ecosystems forming distinctive landscapes on every Ranger District. (Cave Management con tinues on page 4) Trout Pond, a sinkhole pond, in Trout Pond Recreation Area, Lee Ra nger District, Hardy County WV. Stream-fed pond fills when sediment plugs drain hole in bottom of sinkhole. Image: T. Collins


Beneath the Forest 4 The forests karst management includes managing the karst resources as well as karst geologic hazards. Cave management is facilitated by the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act (FCRPA) of 1988 and laws which protect threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, or other resources found in caves. In contrast, management of the much larger karst lands or resources may have less legal framework for management, and so, can present more challenges. Caves The forests cave management includes many aspects, such as archaeological, historic, biological, geological, recreation, etc. Some caves were mined for saltpeter during the Civil War. A high percentage of the known caves contain aquatic systems, such as underground streams with rare aquatic invertebrates, such as isopods, beetles, a nd spiders. One emphasis is on managing habitat for threatened and endangered species. The Forest Plan has extensive direction for Indiana Bat Hibernacula Pr otection Areas. Forest resource specialists have expertise in and accomplished many bat gate closures on caves (and abandoned mines). The White Nose Syndrome (WNS) closure for all caves and abandoned mines remains in effect. The Forest has six caves designated as significant caves under the FCRPA. The Forest worked in partnership with the Virginia Karst Program, Division of Natural Heritage, Department of Conservation and Recreation to delineate cave conservation sites for designated significant caves and for ot her caves hosting natural heritage resources (occurrences of rare plants, animals, or natural communities). Typically these cave conservation sites are areas larger than the footprint of the underlying cave passages, and encompass watershed areas contri buting to the site. (Cave Management continued from page 3) Other karst features In addition to caves, the forests karst management re cognizes a variety of karst features. For example, duri ng preparation of a timber sale in 1996, the Mount R ogers National Recreation Area asked the forest geol ogist to examine abandoned mine workings in the proposed timber sale area. The geologist found the workings to be an exceptional collection of karst features, including sinkholes, caves, sinking stream, blind canyon, and a karst window to a subterrane an stream. All these features occur in a compact, one-half square mile area, making an ideal place to study and interpret a variety of karst features. The forest worked with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the National Speleological Societ y to conduct a variety of inventories and investigati on of this karst land. In 2004 the Jefferson Forest Plan Re vision designated this area as a Special Geologic Area: Raven Cliff Karst Area. For more information, see Environmental Management of a Karst Resource Area in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests by Smith, E.K. and other, 1997, in Proceedings Karst-Water Environment Symposium, Oct 3031, 1997, Roanoke, VA. (Cave Management continues on page 5) Augusta Springs along Wetland Trail on North River Ranger District, Augusta County, VA. Image: T. Collins


Beneath the Forest 5 The forest manages karst springs, such as Augusta Springs on the North River Ranger District. Historically, Augusta Springs was a major resort and spa, and even bottled water. Today, the district manages the area as the Augusta Springs Wetland Trail. Karst inventory on the forest includes Cave and Karst Resources of the Jeffe rson National Forest, WestCentral and Southwestern Virginia, 1992, by Kastning, E.H. and Kastning, K.M. Karst ecosystem In western Virginia there are two types of valleys: shale valleys and limestone (carbonate) valleys, typified by place names such as Rich Valley and Poor Valley. The Rich Valleys with fertile farmlands and dairies are underlain by limestone. The Poor Valleys with less fertile pastures and woodlands are underlain by shal e. This contrast is (Cave Management con tinued rom page 4) accentuated on the forest which is located upslope from the main Rich Valleys and Poor Valleys. This geologic difference influenced land ownership patterns. For example, the Rich Valleys were retained in private ownership, while the lands nobody wanted became part of the National Forest. Un like the broad carbonate valleys, the forests carbonate bedrock is sparser and occurs in more narrow, linear bands in the foothills, tributary valleys, side slopes, a nd even ridge tops. One result is that the approximately 100 known caves on the forest are about 2% of the known caves in Virginia. Geology is the foundation of the karst ecosystem. The limestone and dolomite are parent materials for soil rich in calcium and other mi nerals and with a higher pH that serves to nourish plants. This substrate of soils and rock supports distinctive vegetation as documented in Plan Communities of Limestone, Dolomite, and other Calcareous Substrates in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest by Gary P. Fleming, 1999, (Cave Management con tinues on page 6) Maple Flat sinkhole ponds in thick alluvial fan deposits overlying carbonate bedrock on Pedlar Ranger District, Augusta Coun ty, VA. Image: T. Collins


Beneath the Forest 6 From left: W. Lipps, T. Collin s, and D. Whitmore examine fresh sinkhole activity on Locher tract recreation area. Image: T. Collins Virginia Natural Heritage Technical Report 99-4. The vegetation and unusual topography of karst lands, in turn, give rise to the wildlif e habitat characteristics of karst. The forest has extens ive management of aquatic habitat; streams in karst of ten have high productivity for fish, mussels, and inve rtebrates. The forest manages the groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) in karst. The vagaries of surface water flows and groundwater flows in karst lands that are eroding and evolving above ground and below ground create a complexity in streams and riparian areas different from the adjacent acidic lands. For example, the Maple Flat sinkhole ponds on the Pedlar Ranger Di strict are some of the few natural ponds or lakes in Virginia. These sinkhole ponds have idiosyncratic hydrogeology and interesting flora and fauna. An entire issue of Banisteria the natural history journal of Virg inia, was devoted to this area: The Big Levels Region of Virginia: Aspects of Natural History and Management of a Unique and Imperiled Area, Oct 16, 1998, Proceedings of a Symposium, Charlottesville, VA. The forest manages Maple Flat as a Special Biologic Area. (Cave Management con tinued from page 5) Trout Pond drains whenever the sediment-plug in the drain hole in the bottom of the sinkhole collapses. Image: T. Collins The forest recognizes karst as part of ecological systems diversity, and manages karst with a variety of Forest Plan direction incl uding forest-wide standards and management prescriptions. Air, Water and Soil Resources The forest is a leader in incorporating air resources and karst into forest management. The forest worked in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Virginia to assess acid deposition sensitivity for the Sothern Appalachian Assessment. For more information, see Acid Deposition Sensitivity Map of the Southern Appalachian Assessment Area: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, 1995, by Peper, J.D. and others, U.S. Geological Survey OFR 95-810. Since then, the forest has continued to refine th e assessment at landscape level scales. The forest has an extensive monitoring network in partnership with James Madison University to assess effects of acid deposition on streams, and has limed some streams affected by acid deposition. As with air resources, the forest also is assessing the acid deposition sensitivity of soils and the role of karst in buffering air pollution effects on soils. (Cave Management con tinues on page 7)


Beneath the Forest 7 Karst Groundwater Karst groundwater is a highly desired resource by water us ers because of the large volumes of water available in some karst areas. The forest manages a legacy of hi storic uses of karst water including springs and water wells. More recently, the forest has been implemen ting the Forest Service direction issued in 2006 for management of groundwater. As a result, requests for new water uses are scrutinized for a variety of potential impacts associated with groundwater withdrawals in karst lands. For example, a recent request by a county water authority for a groundwater well in the Maple Flat sinkhole pond area faces a signi ficant hurdle because of the potential for groundwater withdrawal to affects the ponds, aquatic resources, and ground stability. The forests groundwater resour ce most vulnerable to contamination is groundwater in karst lands. Potential sources of contamination include timber harvest activities, oil and gas operations, recreation developments, fire management, and roads and road uses. Forest Plans includ e direction to protect groundwater. Karst Geologic Hazards In addition to potential groundwater contamination, the forest manages other karst geologic hazards including ground collapse from new or expanding sinkholes, and karst-related flooding. Trout Pond, a sinkhole pond reputed to be the only natural pond or lake in WV, is the centerpiece of the Trout Pond Recreation Area, a highly developed overnight campground on the Lee Ranger District in Hardy County, WV. The ra pid dewatering of the pond whenever the sediment-plug in the drain hole collapses is a sign of the active karst processes. Sinkholes showing signs of ac tivity are located in the developed recreation site. The forest geologist contacted the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey and initiated an inventory of sinkholes and (Cave Management con tinued from page 6) study of the karst processes and hazards. The resulting report Geology and Karst of Trout Pond Recreation Area, Hardy County, West Virginia 1997 by Peter Lessing, Byron R. Kulander, and St uart L. Dean, with digital cartography by Dan Barker) provided the Ranger District with site-specific information and maps on 1) sinkholes, and 2) karst geol ogic hazards, monitoring, hazard zonation, and tools for future management. Monitoring in Trout Pond Recreation Area for warning signs of early stages of ground collapse (small holes, cracks, subsidence, and tilted fence posts) has been important and useful. Detect ion of early signs of sinkholes opening under the access road to the developed camping loop in 2003 and 2011 led to road repairs before the sinkholes completely undermined the road. Active sinkholes also affect the Locher tract recreation area on Glenwood Ranger District and the Augusta Springs Wetland Trail on the North River Ranger District. In addition to m onitoring sinkhole activity, the forest is partnering with Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, for geologic investigations of these active sinkhole areas using geophysical techniques. Climate Change During the Forest Plan Revision for the George Washington Nati onal Forest, The Nature Conservancy presented some new ideas to consider regarding responding to c limate change. Usually, proposed methods for adapting to climate change assume species distributions are primarily explained by climate variables. But new re search indicates an alternative approach to consider. The research investigated what factors control total diversity, so that over the long run the major drivers of total species richness can be protected. (Cave Management con tinues on page 8)


Beneath the Forest 8 Impacts of Cave Closures on National Forest Lands Cynthia Sandeno Cave and Karst Coordinator Forest Service Federal land managers acro ss the United States are confronted with decision s about how to address White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease that is killing entire populations of bats. Because early evidence suggested the potential for fungal spores to be spread by humans, land managers ha ve closed caves in many parts of the country to slow -the-spread of WNS. While people are concerned about the imperiled bats, many of these same people greatly value access to caves on public lands. To gain an understanding of the social and economic effects of cave closures, the Monongahela National Forest recently completed a qualitative research study lo cated in north central West Virginia. All caves on the Forest have been closed to public access since 2009 in re sponse to the spread of WNS. Neal Christensen, a social scientist from Christensen Research, completed this rese arch along with myself. This study used existing recreation visitor data, economic models, and primary data collection via key informant interviews with members of the mainstream caving community. The results of the analysis indicate that the cave closures have had social impacts on the caving community. Respondents reported that they felt a sense of loss from the closures a loss of opportunities for outdoor recreation, stew ardship, and science. They also pointed out that there are tradeoffs with closure policies that should be acknowledged excluding people to protect bats ne gatively affects the caving community, and possibly the caves themselves. The final report can be found online at http:// Caves_and_WNS_social_economic_final.pdf and will soon be available on the karst information portal. Some key quotes from the researchers (Anderson and Ferree, 2010): Within a single climatic region, the temperate area encompassing all of the Northeastern U.S. and Maritime Canada, we hypothesized that geologic factors may take precedence over climate in explaining diversity patterns Results of linear regressions of species diversity on all possible combinations of 23 geophysical and climatic variables indicated that four geophysical factors; the number of geological classes, latitude, elevation range and the amount of calcareous bedrock, predicted species diversity with certainty (adj. R2 = 0.94). To confirm the speciesgeology relationships we ran an independent test using 18,700 location points for 885 rare species and found that 40% of the species were restricted to a single geology. Moreover, each geology class supported 5 endemic species and chi-square tests confirmed that calcareous bedrock and extreme elevations had significantly more rare species than expected by chance (P,0.0001), strongly c orroborating the regression model. Our results suggest that protecting geophysical settings will conserve the stage for current and future biodiversity and may be a robust alternative to species-level predictions. Anderson MG, Ferree CE (2010) Conserving the Stage: Climate Change and the Geophysical Underpinnings of Species Diversity PLoS ONE 5(7): e11554. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0011554. This research recognizes th at geologic diversity is a foundation for ecosystem dive rsity and biological diversity. Geologic science is a core discipline in science-based management of karst lands as well as the other lands comprising the Forests geologic diversity. (Cave Management continued from page 7)


Beneath the Forest 9 The Indiana Bat Adaptive Management Project, Sylamore Ranger District, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, Arkansas David H. Jurney, PhD Heritage Program Manager Ozark-St. Francis National Forests Three bat species, the Ozark Big-eared Bat ( Corynorhinus townsendii ingens ), the Indiana Bat ( Myotis sodalis ) and the Gray Bat ( Myotis grisescens) have special status as endangered species on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests of Arkansas. Caves that underlie the Sylamore Ranger District provide hibernacula over winter for the Indiana Bat and the Gray Bat; and also contain remains of Native American dark zone exploration, human burials, and thousands of years of human occupation. In 2012, the Sylamore District initiated an adaptive management project to protect, enhance, and rehabilitate the foraging habitat fo r these endangered species, as well as other bat species. To address the adverse effects to Indiana Bat (IBAT) habitat, proposed trea tments are now under development. Mechanical, chemical, and prescribed burn treatments would maintain open understory condition and/or regulate stand density, structure, quality, and species com position. Specifically, commercial timber harvest, timber stand improvement, wildlife stand improvement, reforestation, and prescribed burning are proposed to improve habitat. Cave gates are also proposed to protect bat species from unauthorized entry. Cave gates will also help prot ect any archaeological manifestations in these caves. The project involves summary and revalidation of previously recorded archaeological sites and complete archaeological survey of forested and open areas that have never received pedestrian reconnaissance (Jurney a nd McCluskey 2012). This total archaeological invent ory of the 67,938 ac IBAT footprint will aid in mana gement of historical properties, especially fiss ure and solution caves, and will allow planning activities to focus on site avoidance and protection; both preferred mitigation treatments. (IBAT continued on page 10) Eastern Pipistrelle ( Pipistrellus subflavus ) in Blanchard Cavern. Image: USFS


Beneath the Forest 10 Landscape scale Native American modifications to vegetation communities are now recognized to play a role in development of domesticated wild plants such as Chenopodium (Lambs Quarter, see Sabo and Sabo 2005:38 for a rock art image), Polygonum (knotweed), Phalaris (maygrass), Iva annua var. macrocarpa, and Hordeum (little barley); and intensive use of oily plants such as Helianthus (sunflower), Curcurbita pepo, and Ambrosia (ragweed) (Fritz 1985, 1990, 1994, 1997); that led to increased sedentism and eventually development of agriculture ba sed on tropical cultigens. Extensive stands of giant can e (Arundinaria sp) present as late as the early 19th century were probably due to Late Prehistoric burning practices (Jurney 2012). Farming, land clearance a nd drainage, and fire suppression have led to the extirpation of cane in many areas. Among other archaeological/cultural manifestations are the Late Archaic Sedalia Phase (ca. 1580-399 B.C.) along the middle White River of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri; and the Mississippian Greenbrier Phase (Sabo et al. 1990:57-58 and 101-102), along the lower White River as it emerges from the Ozark escarpment. The Greenbrier phase dates ca. A.D. 13501650. In 1955, cavers removed a human cranium and mandible from the Blanchard Springs Cavern. The cavern was first recorded by Ken Cole of the Arkansas Archeological Survey (AAS) in 1969, who performed a cursory survey of proposed improvements. In 1974, Dan Wolfman (AAS) revisited the cave and collected cane torch remains spread in a wide area around the find of the human remains (Wolfman 1974). The site is located underground at 400 ft amsl, drained by subsurface flow into Blanchard Springs, a tributary of North Sylamore Creek. (IBAT continued from page 9) Cole submitted a cane torch fragment, collected ca. 1965 by Forest Service personnel, to the UCLA radiocarbon laboratory in 1969. The date was A.D. 870+ 60 (UCLA-792-B). The four ra diocarbon dates collected by Wolfman were submitted to the University of Georgia Geochronology Laboratory in 1974. All were reported by Wolfman (1974:7-9). The latter dates were from charred cane A.D. 985+90 (U GA-691), charred wood? and charred cane A.D. 945+60 (U GA-692), charred wood A.D. 225+60 (U GA-693), and charred wood A.D. 945+70 (U GA-694). This suggests that the prehistoric use of Blanchard Cavern was not a single event, but that multiple visits may have occurred ca. A.D. 225-985; over 760 years. Recently, it has become apparent that rock art sites have not been recognized by pr evious archaeological surveyors and such sites may play an important role in the definition of culture areas (Sabo and Sabo 2005:811). Jacobs Rock (3SE105), southwest of the project area, has geometric and rect ilinear motifs similar to those in the Petit Jean Mountain/Carden Bottoms (Mississippian) area (Sa bo and Sabo 2005:40-41, BergVogel 2005:59-71). (IBAT Continued on page 11) Flowstone in Blanchard Cavern. Image: USFS


Beneath the Forest 11 Gustafson/Wingard Cave (3ST70) was thoroughly examined by a caving team led by Jean Allan in 2000 (Allan, n.d.; see Jean s photos in Beneath the Forest Spring 2010 issue, pp. 7-9). It is within the project area, is listed on the National Regist er of Historic Places, and contains many panels of Native American rock art, including some of bison. A total of 489 archeologi cal sites are known from intensive survey within the IBAT Project area. These include 256 purely historic si tes, 21 sites with primary historic components and secondary prehistoric components, 25 sites with primary prehistoric and secondary historic comp onents, and 187 purely ( IBAT continued from page 10) prehistoric sites. By comb ining these components, a total of 302 (56.4%) historic components and 233 (43.6%) prehistoric components are represented by the site matrix. Among prehistoric sites, pr operty types include 64 caves, 55 rockshelters, 72 open air sites, and one natural bridge. Huma n burials are know n and likely at many rockshelter and cave sites, no open air prehistoric cemeteries are known. Nine archeological sites are listed as Priority Heritage Assets (PHAs). Each requires periodic (at least onc e every five years) visits to make Condition Assessments. In addition, four of these PHAs also have human remains and additional legal mandates, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), must be followed to protect these historical properties. Human remains are also known for site 3ST0027, Blanchard Springs Cavern, which is managed as a Developed Recreation Area. Human remains were also reported to have been excavated from 3ST0010 below Blanchard Caverns by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Finally, site 3ST0193 is a cave where possible human remains were noted. There is high potential for human remains and evidence of their dark zone exploration of caves across the entire IBAT footprint. REFERENCES Allan, Jean, n.d. Where the Buffalo Roam: A Preliminary Report on Arkansas Gustafson Cave Art. Ms. On file, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, Russellville, Arkansas. Berg-Vogel, Michelle 2005 The Petit Jean Painted Style. In Sabo and Sabo (eds), Rock Art in Arkansas, pp. 59-71. Arkansas Archeological Survey, Popular Series 5. Fayetteville, Arkansas. Fritz, Gayle J. 1985 Prehistoric Ozark Agriculture: The University of Arkansas Rockshelter Collections. PhD dissertation, Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (IBAT continued on page 14) Photo from 1941 of site 3ST10 following looting of the human remains present by the CCC. Image: USFS


Beneath the Forest 12 Partnership between Mark Twain National Forest and Ozark Operations of the Cave Research Foundation Kelly Whitsett Forest Hydrologist, Cave and Karst Program Manager Mark Twain National Forest Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the partnership between Mark Twain National Forest and Ozark Operations of the Cave Research Foundation (CRF). The partnership began 22 years ago in 1990 to assist Mark Twain National Forest with an Environmental Assessment (E A) for potential lead mining in the Current River Region. Since then, the agreement has grown to cover 649+ caves across the 1.5 million acres of Mark Twain National Forest (Mark Twain). CRF is a private, volun teer based, non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating research, management and interpreta tion of caves and karst resources, forming partners hips to study, protect and preserve cave resources and karst areas, and promoting the long term conservation of caves and karst ecosystems. In December 2010, CRF received the Forest Service Eastern Region Volunteer Program Award for the 20 years of work. It will be 3 years in November 2012 since I accep ted the position of Mark Twain Hydrologist and Ca ve and Karst Program Manager. Within my first month Forest Wildlife Biologist Theresa Davidson and I had a meeting with Scott House, then CRF President and currently Operations Counselor of the Ozark Operations and Mick Sutton, then the Oper ations Counselor of the Ozark Operations. At the time, the Mark Twain had a challenge cost share agreement with variable, unstable funding. The agreement included biol ogical inventory, cave mapping, geological investigation, general cave monitoring, database management, and the occasional cave gate. At this meeting in 2009, Mick and Scott explained to Theresa and I how they would like to expand the program including assistance with White Nose Syndrome (WNS) mon itoring, archeological investigations, cave gati ng and cave restoration projects, and a better system to assist with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis during scoping. The Fiscal Year 2012 challenge cost share agreement includes the largest amount of funding and program of work to date. The agreement includes funding of work through 2014 and a planned five year program of work. The list of work is very lengthy and includes biological and geological investigati ons, cave mapping, cave location, a consistent monitoring form to address potential vandalism and WNS on high priority cave sites, archeological investiga tions on high priority sites, a process for assistance with NEPA, investigation work in priority watersheds, abandoned mine safety closures with a bat friendly structure, a cave restoration project, assisting Bat Conservation International (BCI) with a cave gating project on a gray bat maternity colony, and a cave gating project on a cav e near a designated ATV trail to mitigate impacts from high visitation. In addition, we have started a separate agreement with AmeriCorps-St. Louis to a ssist CRF with cave gate construction. CRF manages the entire Mark Twain cave program through volunteers. All volunt eers must go through a CRF screening process, in cluding other organizations interested in cave research excluding other state and federal agencies such as Missouri Department of Conservation and US Fish and Wildlife Service. (CRF continued on page 13)


Beneath the Forest 13 This is done to simplify the process and help monitor cave visitation. Currently all caves and mines are closed on Mark Twain Forest to slow the spread of WNS and to allow bats undi sturbed hibernation period. Other organizations that work with Mark Twain Forest through CRF include Cave Archaeology Investigation, and Research Network (CAI RN) (a non-profit), Ozark Caving Diving Alliance (a non-profit), and local Missouri grottos such as the Springfield Plateau Grotto, Kansas City Area Grotto, Meramec Valley Grotto, and from time to time other grottos through the Missouri Speleological Survey. Funding for the Fiscal Year 2012 is a multi-disciplinary approach for multiple integrated resource targets. The majority of the funding sources included minerals and wildlife, with a small portion of funding from soil and water. Targets include ge ological investigations, terrestrial and/or aquatic ha bitat improvements, and soil and water improvements if a stream/spring is following through the cave. (CRF ccontinued from page 12) For Fiscal Year 2013, potential additional funding sources include archeology and AML mine safety closures for mines that are a known human safety issues but also include bat habitat. CRF provides ~ 50% match through volunteer hours and travel (miles and lodging). USDA Forest Servic e funding pays for 50% of the cost for travel (m ileage and lodging) of volunteers, supplies need ed for biological investigations, cave database management, and salary for operations manager, cave gate project manager/ designer, welders, cave file database management, cartography project leader, biologist, and project manager. In addition, Mark Twain pays for 100% of materials, supplies, and equipment maintenance needed on all cave gating projects. The funding for this is incl uded in the challenge cost share agreement. CRF pays for the supplies then through the agreement they are reimbursed. By doing it this way, CRF is in charge of purchasing everything needed. (CRF continued on page 14) McCormick Cave before restoration of the entrance gate area. Image: K. Whitsett McCormick Cave after restorati on with the new bat gat designed by Bat Conservation International and put into place by volunteers from CRF. Image: K.Whitsett


Beneath the Forest 14 This includes maintenance of equipment such as welding equipment and generators, purchase of materials such as steel, a nd the rental of portable toilets. All equipment is housed on Mark Twain property between projects. A few project highlights from the last year include restoration of McCormick Cave and gating of Bat Cave, Oregon County. Through a special use permit, the Missouri Science and Technology or Missouri S&T constructed a seismic station during the 1960s. This included a wall at the cave en trance and a building that housed the platform anchored to bedrock for the seismic station. The University had removed the seismic station and all materials in 2009, but still need to restore the cave to natura l conditions, as required by the closing of the special use permit. However once the wall was removed, we knew vandalism would be an issue due to numerous break -ins. Missouri S&T agreed to restore the cave and help construct a gate with CRF once money became available to purchase the steel. This project was completed May 2012 (see photos on page 13). CRF volunteer work included cave gate design, project management including 3 meals a day for all volunteers, labor, and cutting and welding of steal. Bat Cave in Oregon County is a gray bat maternity colony. In 2011, infrared surveys at the entrance found 110,000 bats flying out of the cave. This cave is a well visited cave near a road. Mark Twain Forest personnel determined the best method to protect the bats and reduce disturbances was to construc t a cave gate. The cave has two entrances and two different types of gates were needed, a flyover gate on one entrance and a chute style gate on a bay window to accommodate the large number of gray bats flying in and out of the cave (see photo on page 15). (CRF cContinued from page 13) (CRF continued on page 15) Forest Service Statement of Nondiscrimination : The U.S. Department of Ag riculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its pr ograms and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, se xual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individuals in come is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, la rge print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDAs TARG ET Center at (202) 7202600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S. W.. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 1990 Multiple pathways to fa rming in precontact Eastern North America. Journal of World Prehistory 4:387-435. 1994 In Color and In Time: Prehistoric Ozark Agriculture, in Cultural Origins and Development in the Midcontinent, edited by William Green, pp. 105-236. 1995 A Three Thousand Year Old Cache of Crop Seeds from Marble Bluff, Arkansas, in People, Plants, and Landscapes: Studies in Paleoethnobotany, edited by Kristen J. Gremillion, pp. 42-62. Jurney, David H. 2012 The Anthropology of Fire in the Ozark Highland Region. In Proceedings of the 4th Fire in Eastern Oaks Conference, pp. 12-33. GTR-NRS-P-102. Jurney, David H. and R.S. McCluskey 2012 Indiana Bat Environmental Assessment-Sylamore Ranger District, Baxter and Stone Counties, Arkansas. Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, Heritage Resource Inventory Report Series 12-1-0101, Russellville, Arkansas. Sabo, George III, and Deborah Sabo (eds) 2005 Rock Art in Arkansas. Arkansas Archeological Survey, Popular Series 5. Fayetteville, Arkansas. Wolfman, Daniel 1974 Blanchard Springs Caverns Radiocarbon Dates. Arkansas Archeological Society Field Notes 119 120 (November December):7 9. Arkansas Archeological Society, Fayetteville. (IBAT Continued from page 11)


Beneath the Forest 15 CRF and the Mark Twain asked Jim Kennedy from Bat Conservational Internationa l to design and help construct the gate. This pr oject was completed in October 2012 with employees on Mark Twain Forest from the Eleven Point Ranger District, CRF volunteers for project management, la bor, and steel welding and cutting, Jim Kennedy for design and project management, and AmeriCorps-St. Louis for steel welding and cutting and labor. I want to thank everyone involved in the partnership between the Mark Twain and CRF. Your dedication and passion are appreciated. I look forward to our future projects. (CRF continued from page 14) Bat Cave, Oregon County Cave Gate Project. On the left side is the chute style gate on a bay window and on the right is the flyover gate. Image: K. Whitsett INFRA Cave Module is Live Cynthia Sandeno Cave and Karst Coordinator Forest Service Over the past year, the Forest Service has been working to develop a secure national database for collecting and storing cave data. The new module is located in the INFRA database, and is pr otected through role-based security requirements. Only cave managers with approved roles will be able to access data for their assigned district, forest or region, ensuring confidentiality. A wide array of data will be captured in the new system including core information, significance criteria, permit requirements, status of White-nose Syndrome, project accomplishments, volunteer contributions, a nnual visitation, and much more. Users will also have the ability to pull data for reporting. This system will become the reporting system for cave accomplishments at the forest, regional, and national levels. This will provide the first opportunity in Forest Servi ce history to collect cave management data uniformly and to report accomplishments. The first training sessions will be available November 9th at 9 AM and 4 PM ET and participants can register through AgLearn and receive credit or just join the live meeting. Each session will last for about one hour and will be geared at users who are beginners in the Infra sy stem. This course is recommended for forest and region-level cave managers. Audio : Call in number (888) 858-2144 Code: 1277029 Visual: Instructor: Cyndee Maki (801) 236-3425 Questions? Contact Cynthia (304) 636-1800. Ice crystal in Big Ice Cave, Custer NF. Image: D. Siefert


Beneath the Forest 16 The Longest Cave in Louisiana: Wolf / Wolfbear Cave Re-Mapped Cicciarella, C.F., Wakeman, J., Beard, L., Hecox, B., Labatt, M., Lay, R., Rogers, C., Sabol, E. and Wilks, L. Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272 Reprinted with permission from: The National Speleological Society News, August 2002 Submitted by: Gretchen Hunt-Moore Forest Geologist Kisatchie National Forest There are five known caves in the state of Louisiana, three of them apparently se gments of common origin. Descriptions and maps of all five are available (Sevenair and Williamson, 1983; Sevenair et. Al, 1976; Williamson and Sevenair, 1998). One of these caves is an erosional cave called Wolf Cave in all three articles cited above, although on Forest Service maps it appears as Wolfbear Cave. Wolf (Wolfbear) Cave is located in the Kisatchie Hills area of the Kisatchie National Forest, southwest of the city of Natchitoches. In April 2002, a compass a nd tape re-survey of Wolf (Wolfbear) Cave was undertaken by a team from Louisiana Tech University. A rough centerline was measured through six stations, and cross-sectional measurements (distances above, below, left, and right of the centerline) were take n every two feet from each station. (Wolf continued on page 17) District Ranger Michael Dawson examines the entrance of Wolf Cave on the Kisatchie National Forest. Image: G. Hunt-Moore *Image not included in original publication


Beneath the Forest 17 Measurements were recorded on paper forms, then transcribed into a cave-mapping software product called Compass Project Manager (Fish, 2002). The computer program was then used to draw plan and profile views, to perform smoothing computations, and to compute summary statistics for the cave. Figure 1* shows the plan and profile views generated by the software, with the sidewalls of the former, and the ceiling and floor of the latter ma thematically smoothed. The map produced by this project is substantially different from that done a quarter-century ago. The most immediately recognizable difference is the seven-foot long alcove branching to the right about ten feet from the end of the main passage. This alcove is not shown in the earlier map. The presence of vertical marks on the walls of the alcove, and not noted elsewhere in the cave, suggests the alcove may be a relatively recent, man-ma de feature. Another significant difference is in the reported length of the cave. The length was reported as 46 feet by Sevenair et al. (1976), and as 51 feet by Sevenair and Williamson (1983). Our survey measured the cave as totaling 77.2 feet. Though insignificant by the standards of other locations, this makes this cav e the longest in the entire state of Louisiana. We measured the alcove at 8.2 feet, reducing the discrepancy between our survey and previous surveys to between 19 and 24 feet. Although it is possible that the cave has lengthened through erosion, we believe this to be extremely unlikely. The shape of the cave at its terminus in both surveys is extremely simliar so if erosion is lengthening the cave it must be doing so in a manner that preserves that shape. Other statistics for this cave that may be of interest are surface length at 61.6 feet, horizontal length at 76.6 feet, surface width 30 feet, surface area 1847.9 square feet, (Wolf continued from page 16) enclosed volume 3554.8 square feet, cave volume 650.6 cubic feet, and average diameter of 2.9 feet. Other Observations On the day the cave was vi sited, water was visibly entering through a hole near the ceiling at the extreme end, at an estimated rate of a gallon or two per minute. Water had accumulated on the floor to a depth of 1 to 4 inches for most of the length of the cave, but was not overflowing out the entrance (which is elevated above most of the passage). Thus water clearly exits the cave by seepage through the floor. Several crickets, spiders, and one crayfish were observed. Horizontal orange streaks a few inches below the ceiling, and more or less parallel to the floor, give the illusion of flood marks. However, these marks are well above the level of the cave entrance. Therefore, they are more probably the result of capillary action dur ing periods when water is on the floor, as when the survey was conducted. References Fish, L. 2002 Compass Project Manager version Fountain Computer Products. Sevenair, J.P., Howie, W.H. and Childress, D 1976 Wolf Cave [Compass and tape survey by the Southern Mississippi grotto and the Alto Survey, National Speleological Society] Sevenair, J.P. and Williamson, D. 1983 Caves of Louisiana, The Preceedings of the Louisiana Academy of Sciences, XLVI, 109-113. Williamson, D. and Sevenair, J. 1998 Caves in Louisiana. The Crescent City Caver: Newsletter of the Crescent City Cavers, a grotto of the National Speleological Society 1 (1 ) 1-3. [Available: http://] *Editors note: Figure 1 from the original article was not reproducible for this publication.

Contents: Editor's
notes --
Cave management vs. karst management / Tom Collins --
Impacts of cave closures on national forest lands /
Cynthia Sandeno --
The Indiana Bat Adaptive Management Project, Sylamore
Ranger District, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, Arkansas /
David H. Jurney, PhD --
Partnership between Mark Twain National Forest and Ozark
operations of the Cave Research Foundation / Kelly Whitsett --
INFRA cave module is live / Cynthia Sandeno --
The longest cave in Louisiana: Wolf/Wolfbear Cave
re-mapped / C. F. Cicciarella, J. Wakeman, L. Beard, B. Hecox,
M. Labatt, R. Lay, C. Rogers, E. Sabol, and L. Wilks.
"Beneath the Forest" is the Forest Service newsletter
about cave and karst resources that is published biannually.
Articles are submitted from Forest Service cave and karst
resource managers, other field personnel, and volunteers as
well as stakeholders from National Speleological Society
Grottos, the Cave Research Foundation, and university research
groups." --
USDA Forest Service


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