Beneath the Forest 1 Volume 1, Issue 1 Fall 2008
Beneath the Forest 2 Welcome to the Inaugural Issue of Beneath the Forest! Courtney Cloyd Washington Office Geology and Paleontology Program Manager Welcome to the first issue of Beneath the Forest, the newsletter for the Forest Service caves and karst community. Caves are home to an amazing floral and faunal diversity, as they have been for millions of years, sometimes resulting in cave-specific adaptations. For millennia, humans sought the shelter of caves, leaving evidence of daily life on the walls and in the dirt underfoot. The hidden world of caves and karst offers insight to the past that, in some cases, is not available elsewhere. Caves continue to dr aw people inside to discover their fantastic mineral formations and, hopefully, endless extent. Increasingly, caves are being studied for clues to climatic conditions that existed hundreds of thousands of years ago. The recreational and scientific opportunities offered by caves and karst are recognized in the Forest Services interdisciplinary approach to managing them. Recreational specialists, biologists, geologists, and (Welcome continued on page 3) INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 Welcome from Courtney Cloyd 5 Tongass cave Geomicrobiology Investigations 6 Transforming Files into Caves 7 On Your Knees Cave Human Remains Reburial 9 Show Cave Management at Blanchard Springs Cavern 10 Cave Research Foundation on the Mark Twain NF 13 Karst Hydrologic Investig ations in South Carolina 15 MOU with Cavers on the Ozark-St Francis NF Finding Caves in the Pryor Mountains of Montana Anna Weber GeoCorps Intern, Custer National Forest It was cave hunting season in the Pryor Mountains of the Custer National Forest from July 22 24 2008. The Pryor Mountains, located in south-central Montana, are known for their varied landscapes that range from desert spaces reminiscent of the American Southwest to wildflower-filled alpine meadows. Wild horses graze the eastern sections as sweeping views of the prairie spread out below Dry Head Vista. The geology of the area is just as exciting as this dramatic landscape suggests. The ridgelines in the Pryors consist mainly of Mississippian-aged Madison Limestone. The upper unit of the Madison is the Mission Canyon Formation, which is several hundred feet thick, full of invertebrate fossils, and consists of extremely pur e limestone which is over 95 percent calcium carbonate. This makes it quite susceptible to dissolution and a great place to find caves. The Pryors are riddled with sinkholes and there are likely hundreds of caves undiscovered. (Pryors continued on page 4) Cover Image: J. Kovarik sk etches in Scree-mer Cave, Mt. Calder, Tongass National Forest. Image: A. Croskrey The entrance to Snow Spiral Cave. Image: A Weber
Beneath the Forest 3 hydrologists all offer critically important knowledge and understanding to the inventory, management, monitoring, and protection of these special resources. Beneath the Forest offers a great opportunity for everyone in the Forest Service caves and karst community to share their discoveries, information resources, and questions with each other. All credit goes to Johanna Kovarik, geologist on Alaskas Tongass National Forest, for seeing the benefits of closer collaboration among Forest Service cavers, and then bringing the newsletter to the surface. Please join me in thanking Johanna for Beneath the Forest I hope all of you will contribute articles to future issues. (Welcome continued from page 2) Editors Notes: Id like to thank all the contributors for this inaugural issue as well as Courtney Cloyd for assistance, support, and editing. Please feel free to submit your questions or comments to the editor or to the individual authors. If you didnt see your article in this issue it will be posted in the winter edition, due out in February 2009! This version of issue was reproduced for external publication. There are slight modifications from the original layout throughout issue. Contributors and Entities represented in this issue: Penelope J. Boston, Ph.D. New Mexico Tech University Christopher Carlson, Ph.D. National Groundwater Program Lead Courtney Cloyd WO Geology and Paleontology Program Manager Micheal Crump Ozark-St. Francis National Forest Amy E. Edwards Southern Research Station Terry Fifield, Ph.D. Tongass National Forest Tony Guinn Ozark-St Francis National Forest Deanna Stever Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Michael Sutton Cave Research Foundation Anna Weber Custer National Forest Welcome to Beneath the Forest! Christopher Ca rlson, Ph.D. National Groundwater Program Lead As the National Groundwater Program Lead I want to help welcome you to the inaugural issue of Beneath the Forest Special thanks go to Johanna Kovarik for getting this initiative underway and for editing. I look forward to seeing each quarterly issue showcasing the important work being done on the National Forests and Grasslands to protect these critical cave and karst resources. As you all know, traditional karst landscapes owe their existence to carbonate bedroc k and percolating or flowing ground water. Without that ground water, the complex interconnected system would not have developed. Conversely, karst landscapes including caves (including volcanic psuedokarst areas) can be critical aquifers supplying water for human use and to key ground water-dependent ecosystems, such as springs and perennial streams. In add ition, karst (and psuedokarst) systems in many areas are ground water-dependent ecosystems in their own right, hosting numerous endemic and threatened and endangered species. Through the efforts of the Recreation, Geology, and Watershed programs the Forest Service has started to recognize the importance of these largely unseen ecological, geological, hydrological and recreational resources. Together, we can work to manage them appropriately to sustain their role in nature and provide public access for education and recreation. The draft of Forest Service Manual 2560 Ground Water Resource Management, which will be published for public notice and comment shortly, will help provide specialists and decision makers with additional tools to help recognize and sustainably manage these important resources.
Beneath the Forest 4 There is a history of cave mapping and exploration in the area at least one cave holds the carved initials of 1800s mountain man Jim Bridger. However, finding these caves is no easy task. In 1993, the Northwest Cave Research Institute (NCRI) conducted the most recent Pryor Mountain cave inventory, entitled Survey and Inventory of Caves in the Pryor Mountai ns. The survey includes sketches, descriptions, and hazard analyses. The NCRI field team, however, consisted of 48 people and apparently some information was lost in the shuffle of compilation. In July 2008, a team from the Custer and Gallatin National Forests set out to confirm cave locations and inventory significant resource information such as speleothem development and recent human use. This team was armed with cave location coordinates that were often incorrect by several miles. Narrative directions intended to assist in cave relocations were at times less than helpful. A typical set of directions would read, Go eastto a point north of Bainbridge benchmarkwalk north to canyon, drop down and halfway up the other side. The cave relocation kit also contained rudimentary maps with no scale or contour lines. The maps and narratives often disagreed presenting quite a challenge! The team spent three days in the Pryors and located 15 of the 49 caves initially found and described by the NCRI, as well as one additional cave. The first day in the field the team visited Crater Ice Cave, a well-known cave that has two entrances. The day of the visit, however, one entrance was plugged with a mound of snow that reached from the surface all the way down (about 15 feet) to the floor of the cave. The group was able to enter Crater Ice Cave by its SUBSURFACE HAPPENINGS ------------------------------------------------------------------------------CAVE AND KARST CALENDAR OF EVENTS ------------------------------------------------------------------------------INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF SPELEOLOGY NATIONAL SPELEOLOGICAL SOCIETY CONVENTION CAVE AND KARST MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM KERRVILLE, TEXAS JULY 19TH 26TH 2009 The International Congress of Speleology meets every four years, and this year th e congress is in the US! The Cave and Karst management Symposium is for agencies and private managers of cave and karst resources. Both of these are occurring jointly with the NSS convention. This symposium occurs every other year. Deadline for abstracts for both is December 1st, 2008 Information: http://www.ics2009.us/welcome.html second entrance, but several other caves we found were completely snowed in and inaccessible. Over the course of our expedition, we also entered a cave filled with old rusty sardine cans, and anothe r with lovely ribbon-shaped speleothems. The well-mapped Little Ice Cave held a garden-like collection of ice stalagmitesand a rather large pack rat nest, complete with green vegetation and shreds of foil candy wrappers. Due to the incomplete nature of our directions, this trip was a stop-and-go experience. Late one day, after a frustrating hike in the wrong direction, the team stumbled upon five sinkholes with cave entrances all in the same spot. Another day, however, the expedition searched for a cave that never materialized. In the end, over three quarters of the NCRIs caves remain a mystery. The Custer National Forest will continue the cave relocation effort until all the previously described caves are found and documented. This project is necessary to further our knowledge of the Pryors unde rground resources in order to protect these resources for the study and enjoyment of future generations. Snow in Crater Ice Cave, Pryor Mountains. Image: Dan Seifert
Beneath the Forest 5 Tongass Cave Geomicrobiology Investigations Penelope J. Boston, Ph.D. Director, Cave and Karst Studies, New Mexico Tech There is an amazing world of tiny rock-dissolving microorganisms that live beneath our feet in the rock fractures and caves of the world. Some of the most spectacular examples of the activities of these tiny miners can be seen in a variety of limestone caves within the Tongass National Forest on Prince of Wales Island. With the support of Tongass National Forest Geologist Jim Baichtal, we are beginning to tackle the issues of what these organisms might be, what they are doing to their rock environments, and what distingui shable distinctive minerals and cave formations they leave behind as a byproduct of their activities. New Mexico Tech Graduate Student Megan Curry samples cottoball formations from a pool in Cataract Cave, Tongass National Forest. I: P. Boston In June of 2007, our team of four scientists left our home institutions in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico, and hopped onto planes bound for Alaska. The team included myself, Mike Spilde (Manager of the Electron Microbeam Laboratories at the Univ. of New Mexico), Megan Curry (graduate student and Nationa l Cave and Karst Research Institute Scholar), and Andrea Martn Prez (visiting graduate student from Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain on a Spanish National Scholarship). Our team is studying similar phenomena in many other places in the world, but nowhere else have we seen the great abundance of moonmilk (a pasty white mineral deposit) in caves like Thrush, and the unique cottonball structures in the pools in Cataract Cave. Such an abundance of this material seems to be tied in with the relatively large amount of biomass and primary productivity of the overlying forest. Many questions exist related to these organisms and their environments. How are they connected to those that live above them in the soils and biomass in the forests of Southeast Alaska? Can we consider the forest above and the caves beneath as a single, unified biogeochemical system? How are the organisms actually helping to produce the thick mineral deposits of the pasty white moonmilk that seem to mark their presence in the subsurface? Scanning electron micrograph of the cottonballs shows a mixture of living filaments draping like a mesh over unique calcite rods with wing-shaped secondary crystals attached. I: SEM by M. Spilde and P. Boston Although our project is just beginning, we are making some significant advances. We succeeded in growing a number of organisms from the caves and they are producing carbonate crystals in the laboratory. This means that we probably captured some of the culprits responsible for the mineral precipitation in the caves. We completed the fundamental chemistry of the rocks and water and are beginning to investigate shifts in the isotopic ratios of carbon and oxygen in the system. Life processes often leave their mark on carbon isotope values, and cl imatic conditions like temperature and evaporation leave their trace in the oxygen isotope values. Systems as complex and little-studied as these caves will require many more years of work, so we have a wonderful excuse for continuing to visit the beautiful Tongass and continuing to try to expose the secrets of some of its tiniest but busiest subsurface inhabitants!
Beneath the Forest 6 Transforming files into Caves on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest: Field Season 2008 Deanna Stever Geologist, Huboldt-Toiyabe National Forest I was hired onto the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in October 2006 to work for the Minerals and Geology Program. About 98 percent of my time is allocated for processing and administering mining plans of operations and inventorying and closing abandoned mines for the Ely Ranger District. The rest of my time is available for management of cave resources for the entire forest. Being new to the government and new to caving, I was unsure of how to tackle cave management it turns out all you need to do is make friends with a few seasoned cavers and the whole caving community becomes a resource an email away! Through Cave and Karst Mana gement trainings with the BLM and Park Service, Minerals Administration training, geologic field trips and local grotto trips I now know lots of experienced cavers. This 2008 field season I made trips to 10 of the 20 significant caves on the Ely Ranger District and two on the Austin Ranger District in order to confirm the locations of the caves and conduct brief inventories of cave resources and human impacts. In addition, the Humboldt-Toiyabe NF, Ely BLM, and Great Basin National Park partnered on a cave management proposal for White Pine and Lincoln Counties through the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act. The act allows the BLM to sell lands around Las Vegas and some of the revenue is available for projects on public lands (visit http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/ snplma.html for more information). The proposal was not selected for funding this past year; however the deadline for next year is approaching. I am developing a new proposal to conduct cave resource inventories in twenty significant caves on Forest Service Lands in White Pine County. Great Basin Institute or another part ner would hire an experienced crew through a contract with the Forest Service. The crew would survey, map, and conduct archaeological, biological, hydrological/geological, and paleontological inventories. The information gathered from these inventories will aid in the development of cave specific management and monitoring programs. ARTICLES NEEDED! The February Issue of Beneath the Forest needs your articles! Any relevant articles, photos, calendar events, or other items pertaining to cave and karst resource management on your National Forest are welcome. Get your picture on the cover! Use this media to show off your program to the rest of the Forest Service! Articles may be submitted in any editable format. Photos and other artwork should be submitted in separate files, no t embedded in word or other documents. Please ema il all submissions, questions, and comments to: email@example.com or mail to: Johanna Kovarik, Geologist Tongass National Forest P.O. Box 19001 Thorne Bay, AK 99919 Joshua Simpson, Wilderness Manager on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Snake River Canyon Cave. I: Deanna Stever
Beneath the Forest 7 On Your Knees Cave and the Shuk Kaa Honor Ceremony, 1992-2008 Terry Fifield Archaeologist, Prince of Wales Zone, Tongass National Forest Sixteen years have passed since a survey team on the Tongass National Forest first recorded an insignificant little cave on southeast Alaskas Prince of Wales Island. This fall, on September 25, 2008 the bones of a young man, called Shuk Kaa (Man Ahead of Us) by Tlingit scholars, were buried with suitable respect and ceremony in a simple grave on the Island. The study of the 10,300 year-old remains of Shuk Kaa, the thousands of stone tool fragments found on the terrace outside the cave, and sedimentary context of the ancient campsite have shed bright light on the maritime lifestyle of the earliest known people of southeast Alaska. Paleontological studies illuminated the broader environmental setting of this exciting find. For two days after the burial the Tribes of Klawock and Craig, with the assistance of th e Sealaska Heritage Institute and the Tongass National Forest, hosted ceremonies honoring the person who had given himself, the knowledge gained from the scientific study of the man and his camp, and the relationships that formed among researchers, Alaska Natives, and government agencies during the years of fieldwork and analysis. The scientists who studied the site, paleontologist Dr. Timothy Heaton of the University of South Dakota Vermillion and archaeologist Dr. E. James Dixon with the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico, re turned to Prince of Wales Island for the occasion. These two scientists along with Tlingit protocol specialist Bob Sam and Forest Service archaeologist Terry Fifield hosted educational programs for over 150 people in the local schools. These educational programs presented the highlights and scientific findings of 12 years of collaborative research. The Shuk Kaa Honor Ceremony brought together the many people and groups who had been a part of the discovery, the research, and the homecoming of Shuk Kaa. Over those two days more than 1,500 meals were served to visiting dignitaries, local tribal and agency leaders, educators, the interested public, and the Islands students. Dozens of community, government and service groups and uncounted individuals donated traditional foods, money, and time to make the ceremonies a success. Researchers, dignitaries, and locals presented many speeches praising the contributions of the partners. Four traditional (Tlingit and Haida) dance groups performed each night for the crowds. It was remarkable to experience the enthusiasm and appreciation of the Island community for the benefits derived from these years of collaboration. These events, the study of 10,300 year-old human remains and the return of those remains to Alaska Native tribes, are in many ways historic. Scientific studies have documented the antiquity of this person as the oldest human remains known from Alaska or Canada. They have also told us that this person lived a life focused on the coast and on foods from the sea. We know through the study of his tools and the stone they are made of that he was a seafaring person and that he may have traded with other people of the coast. We also know though the studies of his DNA by Dr. Brian Kemp of Washington State University that he is related to other Native American groups along the coasts of North and South America. In addition to the results of the scientific analysis, the relationships that developed among the partners and the return of custody of Shuk Kaa to the Tribes were also historic. This is the first instance since the enactment of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) where human remains of this antiquity were transferred to a tribal claimant. Officials beyond Prince of Wales Island also took note of the historic nature of the occasion. Tribal presidents; forest service managers from district, forest, regional, and national levels; Native corporation leaders; State representatives and senators; as well as the Secretary of Agriculture and members of his staff all attended the honor ceremony. (On Your Knees continued on page 8)
Beneath the Forest 8 Shuk Kaa burial box. The i nner woven cedar box liner was created by Debbie Head of Craig. The outer bentwood cedar box and design are by Master Carver, Jon Rowan Jr. of Klawock. I: T. Fifield The events had the grand air of history in the making and marked the success of this transformative effort at community-based science. All this history and success might not have come to pass if not for a crucial set of decisions made by a small group of cavers in the days shortly after the cave was first noted. In the summer of 1992 the Tongass National Forest was implementing new standards for karst management, developed after the enactment of the 1988 Federal Cave Resource Protection Act. A karst assessment team was part of the EIS field effort for evaluation of the Lab Bay Timber Sale. When this small cave was reported by one of Harza Inc.s engineering crews it was marked for further review. Hydologist Jo anne Metzler returned to the cave on August 8, 1992 and made the recommendation that the karst team visit the site. The karst team Kevin Allred and Mark Fritske briefly visited the cave later that month and initially thought it not very significant, of little recreational value. (On Your Knees continued from page 7) It was not until the second visit by Allred, Fritske, and other cavers that bear bones were recognized and the name On Your Knees Cave applied to th e site. Still, the cave was small and short, not as grand as many of the others recorded that summer. It was only out of principle, according to Fritske, that Allred argued and convinced the leaders of the analysis team to recommend protection of the cave a decision that would ultimately prove historic. The time that transpired since that decision in 1992 produced benefits for all the partners in the On Your Knees Cave Project. After Tim Heatons paleontological research in 1994-96 resulted in the discovery of human bones and artifacts, the tribal governments of Klawock and Craig agreed to support research and study of the site and the human remains. In the following years grant funding from the National Science Foundation included funding for Native student internships. Sealaska Corporation assumed the funding of those internships in subsequent years. Throughout five field seasons of collaborative paleontological and archaeological investigation (1997-2000 & 2004) Heaton, Dixon, and Fifield made annual local presentations to share new findings and impressions with Prince of Wales tribes and communities. In 2006 Sealaska Heritage Institute (with the assistance of the University of Colorado, the Tongass National Forest, and the National Park Service) produced a short documentary film entitled, Kuwot yas.in (His Spirit is Looking Out From the Cave) chronicling the research and partnerships. Finally in 2007, after thorough scientific study, the Tongass National Forest transferred the remains of Shuk Kaa to the Klawock and Craig Tribal governments. With the completion of the ShukKaa Honor Ceremony in September 2008 we bring to a close a very positive episode in archaeology and tribal relations in southeast Alaska. The contributors including: the Tongass National Forest, Harza Inc., the Tongass Cave Project; Dr. Heatons crews of the University of South Dakota; the Klawock Cooperative Association, the Craig Community Association; the Organized Village of Kake, the Denver Museum of Natural History (Dr. James Dixon and crews), The University of Colorado Boulder, Sealaska Corporation, and Sealaska Heritage Institute all share in this truly historic success.
Beneath the Forest 9 The Dripstone Trail at Blanchard Springs Caverns. Image provided by T. Guinn Show Cave Management at Blanchard Springs Caverns Tony Guinn Recreation Planner, Ozark St. Francis National Forests The Sylamore Ranger District is located in the typical hills and hollows Ozarks la ndscape in the north central region of Arkansas. Limestone caves and springs are very common here, and while there are many show caves, only one is administered by the Forest Service Blanchard Springs Caverns. Bob Reeves is Caverns Administrator at Blanchard Springs Caverns, which is considered one of the premier attractions of north central Arkansas. Blanchard is a tri-level cave, and it contains 81 obligate species of cave life. Kathryn Furr is the wildlife biologist on the Sylamore, and she administers cave biological resources with the assistance of forest technicians, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Blanchard Springs Caverns offers three different tours throughout the year the decorated Dripstone Trail, the historical Discovery Trail, and the challenging Wild Cave Tour. Red clay, large rocks, inky darkness, and breathtaking columns these may not sound like a recipe for fun, but they are a part of what makes Blanchard Springs Caverns wild cave tour thrilling! Tours began on January 8, 2000 and an average of 500 people a year travel the caves mud and rock slopes. The wild cave tours are limited to at least three but no more than 12 people. Participants must be at least 10 years old, and an adult must accompany children younger than 12. The cost is $75.00 per person. The Cavern furnishes hard hats, lamps, gloves, kneepads, and a souvenir T-shirt. The tour is strenuous, so participants do their share of climbing, crawling, stooping, and sliding. The tour is round trip, up and down, over clay and boulde rs very different from our other trails, said Reeves. Wild cavers wear long pants and sturdy boots, and in general get pretty grubby but have lots of fun in the process. Tours are offered year round, almost every day, but visitors prefer Saturdays and Sundays. We work with our visitors to accommodate their schedules as much as possible, Reeves commented. For those people who prefer a tamer cave experience, the Dripstone Trail is open year-round. It offers visitors a leisurely stroll through the two huge rooms filled with beautiful formations on the uppermost level of the Cavern. Folks with wheelchairs and baby strollers can take this tour, but wheelchairs need two strong assistants to push and pull. Other folks prefer something between the two extremes of tours, and the Discovery Trail f its that description. It travels through the middle level of the caverns system, as does the Wild Cave Tour. This tour includes more history and geology as well as nearly 700 stairs! The trail passes through huge rooms, some of which are still decorated with explorers signatures. The tour passes by the underground stream and beneath the natural entrance to the caverns, which is still open for bats. Some of the smaller caves in the area also have recreational value, and entry is allowed through permits issued by the senior staff at Blanchard. Standards are set in place for cave permits, such as the size of the group (no fewer than four, no more than eight) or the experience of the group (3/4 must have some cave experience). The caves are then rated by level of difficulty suitable for novice, experienced, or the vertical experienced caver. There are problems with unauthorized entry into caves and a few of those caves with animal life or special features are gated. Other challenges facing cave management in the area include graffiti, trash, vandalism, fires, and even carbide dumps. The latest project is the possible expansion of the wild cave tour to other caves in the area. We are currently looking at other caves on the District to see if it is feasible to conduct a wild cave tour in a few of them. Developing another thrilling wild cave experience for visitors is achallenge, but it s an exciting challenge!
Beneath the Forest 10 The Cave Research Foundation Under the Mark Twain National Forest Michael Sutton Cave Research Foundation The Mark Twain National Forest (MTNF) covers 1.5 million acres in Missouri, distributed over nine units. Most of this land is within the Ozarks of southern Missouri, a landscape known for its extens ive karst development, including a suite of large, deep springs and thousands of caves. MTNF is the largest single cave owner in Missouri, with responsibility for more than 580 caves, nearly one-tenth of Missouris total. The Cave Research Foundation (CRF) is a national organization of project-oriented cavers established 50 years ago to map caves in and around Mammoth Cave National Park. Since then, projects have spread throughout the country and internationally, and have produced vast amounts of volunteer labor, documenting cave resources in a wide variety of settings. CRFs involvement with MTNF dates from 1990 and continues today under the terms of a fiftyfifty challenge cost-share agreement. As a result, CRF produced detailed, modern maps for more than 200 MTNF caves, and detailed biological assessments for 220 caves. In cooperation with the Missouri Speleological Survey, CRF also provides detailed records and location data on each of the MTNF caves. CRF was also involved with the restoration of a past show cave recently acquired by MTNF. The caves on MTNF occur in rocks ranging from thickly bedded upper Cambrian dolomites to thinly bedded Mississippian limestones. Much of the Ozarks consists of covered fluviokarst, in which surface karst expressions such as sinkholes are scarce. A deep insoluble residuum blankets the surface, so that most sink-points are cryptic. There is enough surface runoff following storms to maintain a dendritic network of normally dry surface channels, but groundwater flow often crosses beneath surface watersheds. Deep groundwater circulation gives rise to the major springs, while the accessible air-filled caves are active components of stream networks or are hydrological relicts left high and dry by down-cutting of the base rivers. Caves are most often entered from gravity spring outlets or fossil spring outlets upstream entry via open sinkholes is rare. Caves tend to follow relatively simple dendritic patterns often with little vertical complexity. Other patterns, such as spongewo rk mazes, also occur. The longest cave on the MTNF is Still Spring, on the Willow Springs District, with a mapped length of 3.7 miles. Still Spring also houses one of the most important paleontological relics on the MTNF a set of footprints in soft mud made by a huge Pleistocene lion. The thick residuum covering much of the landscape has biological consequences in that input of forest debris is severely limited, with coarse debris being largely filtered out. Cave streams consequently tend to be very nutrient-poor, with low or very low population densities. Significant food input does occur from downstream entrances, courtesy of trogloxenes (cave visitors) such as bats, beavers, and especially raccoons. Biological inventories are performed by individual counting of vertebrates and large invertebrates (e.g., crayfish), while keeping track of their location within the cave. For most invertebrates, voucher specime ns are taken for later identification by the CRF investigators or by taxonomic specialists. In many cases, invertebrates could be satisfactorily identified in situ once initial identifications had been carried out. During the c ourse of the project, more than 800 invertebrate samples have been processed and cataloged. Many invertebrates await further taxonomic work. Biological highlights of the study include: Identification of five caves as significant Indiana bat hibernacula. Identification of two additional caves with large summer gray bat colonies and of at least 20 caves with transient or winter gray bat use or evidence of past gray bat colonies. (Continued on page 11)
Beneath the Forest 11 Identification of six additional sites for southern cavefish and three additional sites for Salem cave crayfish. Beavers as significant trogloxe nes and importers of food supplies. First records of otters using Missouri caves. New species of pseudoscorpion ( Mundochthonius hypogeus ), millipede ( Chaetaspis sp.), neotrombid mite, onychiurid springtails, etc. Additional sites for two rare isopods, Caecidotea serratus and C. stilodactyla both previously known from only one cave each. Seven additional sites for an undescribed troglobitic spider, Islandiana sp. and several additional sites for a new species of amphipod, Bactrurus pseudomucronatus. From the early days of organized caving, Missouri cave cartographers have set high standards for detailed cave maps, and that tradition continues today. Survey techniques are standard, typical equipment being a fiberglass tape with hand held Suunto compass and clinometer, and usually a laser rangefinder. Backsights are routine, and field sketches are to-scale and detailed. Raw data is reduced using one of several cave survey programs. Older maps are ink on drafting film, but since drafting software became both adequate and affordable starting around 2000, CRF cartographers quickly adopted the technology, and all maps are now computer drafted. Among the many advantages is the ability to add information layers such as spatially explicit biological data. CRF-Ozarks has gradually developed a depth of talent, and there are currently at least 12 cavers actively drafting maps. Over the 18-year span of the cooperative agreement CRF time and labor has amounted to well over $200,000 in value. The leverage of available funding works well to the advantage of both MTNF and CRF, and has resulted in a wealth of cartographic and biological information. (continued from page 10) 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, sexual 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 large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Di rector, 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. Caves drafted by the Cave Research Foundation for caves on the Mark Twain National Forest above, and page 12 (next page).
Beneath the Forest 12
Beneath the Forest 13 Applying the SWAT hydrologic model on a watershed containing forested karst D.M. Amatya1 and A.E. Edwards2 1Research Hydrologist and 2Hydrologic Technician Forest Service Southern Research Station, Center for Forested Wetlands Research, Cordesville, SC The Forest Service Center for Forested Wetlands Research is working on a South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC)s Section 319 Grant Program funded Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) project for the watershed of Chapel Branch Creek (CBC) draining to Lake Marion in Santee, South Carolina. The Santee Limestone, a major aquifer for the region, where groundwater flows northeast to Lake Marion, underlies the watershed. Lake Marion is the dammed portion of the Santee River, which continues to flow past the Santee Dam and serves as the northern boundary for Francis Marion National Forest. This 1,555 acre watershed is small but contains a combination of many land uses such as commercial, industrial, medium and low density residential, agricultural, and a forested state park. Several sinkholes and cave passages exist where the groundw ater emerges and mixes with surface water entering the cave to form the CBC headwaters that flows toward the lake. This creek is on the SC DHECs 2008 (303d) list of impaired water bodies for excessive TP and pH. The first goal of the project is the identification of areas generating the excess non-point source nutrients, Nitrogen a nd Phosphorous. The second goal is to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to decrease the nutrient loadings. To evaluate the nutrient loadings for establishing the TMDLs after the implementation of the BMPs, this project is utilizing the GIS-based US DA Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). This model uses a digital elevation model (DEM) to delineate watershed boundary and sub-watersheds, with the option of user-defined flow paths to account for man-made structur es such as ditches. A local meteorological station across the lake and three on-site rain gauges are sources of data for the weather inputs. Additional inputs are detailed NRCS SSURGO soil data and land use digitized from recent NAIP aerial photography. These inputs are combined to simulate daily, monthly, and annual hydrologic outputs within various locations on the watershed. The models flow is calibrated and validated by actual flow data measured continuously at several sampling locations (SLs). Samples for nutrient analysis are collected on a flow-proportionate basis and are used for nutrient loading calculations at those locations in the flow paths of the watershed. SWAT was mainly designed for predicting effects of upland agricultural land use on surface waters, so adjustments need to be made to address the karst terrain hydrology in a part of the watershed. The Forest Service delineated flow paths in this karst system by dye tracing (Fig. 3a), a previous cave survey, and expeditions into the cave. Complicating the model outputs is a surface stream entering the cave and joining the main groundwater stream before the spring outlet. Dye trace conducted in September 2008 to determine flow paths and times to the cave spring at the CBC headwaters. Picture is at the cave spring. I: A. Edwards
Beneath the Forest 14 Therefore, in an effort to account for the potential effects of ground water flow from the karst system in both measured and simulated water balance, an additional logger to measure stage and calculate flow was installed at the cave spring outlet. Similarly, an ISCO sampler will be installed with the flow logger to sample storm events to quantify the nutrients at this location affected by karst groundwater. Data obtained from this kars t affected stream outflows should be helpful for the successful modeling. The model predictions help determine the potential source areas, their loadings, and load allocations with proper BMPs, implementation of which help reduce nutrient loads and improve water quality in the Chapel Branch Creek Watershed. However, stakeholders buy-in to the load allocations will be a key to the success of the project. For that matter, early involvement of the key stakeholders like Town of Santee, Santee State Park, Santee Cooper, SC Department of Transportation, Santee National Golf, and Santee Cooper Country Club in study design and data collection has developed a strong cooperation towards the goal of achieving successful TMDL implementation using various BMPs. Images from top: a) Outline of watershed bounda ry on topographic map. Sample Locations (SL) in the watershed are sites chosen for sample collection and/or continuous flow measurement. The purple tria ngles are the sinkholes and cave entrances. b) SWAT view of delineated watershed and subwatershed; red dots are outlet points fo r the sub-watersheds and the blue lines are the user-defined flow routes. c,d) Dye trace conducted in Sept ember 2008 to determine flow paths and times to the cave sp ring at the CBC headwaters. c) The cave spring outl et into CBC headwaters d) Looking down into one of the karst windows during a dye trace. Images: A. Edwards (Bats continued from page 13) A B C D
Beneath the Forest 15 Ozark-St. Francis National Forests sign MOU with Association for Arkansas Cave Studies, Inc. Michael Crump Hydrologist, Ozark-St. Francis National Forest The Ozark-St. Francis National Forest (OSFNF) has a long history of managing caves and other karst features in north Arkansas. The Forest recognizes these unique landforms for their biodiversity, opportunity for recreation, and the need to manage the surface resources above them. The OSFNF is home to Blanchard Springs Caverns, a show cave developed for public tours. The Association for Arkansas Cave Studies, Inc (AACS) is a group of approximately 50 members representing various NSS affiliated grottos across Arkansas. Many years ago the Forest worked with a small gr oup of interested local cavers to help them form the AACS to formalize their relationship so that the mutual interests of the caving community and the FS are best served. Previous agreements expired in 2008, so a new agreement was drafted which expires in 2013. Typically the AACS conducts two work weekends on the Forest one in the spring and another in the fall. The AACS is systematically working one quadrangle at a time to look for new caves, survey known caves, and validate information in existing databases. The volunteer work provided by this group is va lued in excess of $8,000.00 per work weekend. The agreement between the AACS and the Forest Service provides a framework for cooperation to further the understanding and protection of cave resources on the OSFNF. This agreement allows the AACS to assist the Forest Service in implementation of a variety of cave-related projects and fosters greater cooperation between the two groups to preserve, protect, and manage significant cave resources. This agreement will assist the Forest Service in meeting mandates of the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act, the Revised Land and Resource Management Plan for the OSFNF, and Forest Service Manual policy. Summary of activities conducted by AACS and included in the agreement: Cave Inventory. Included in these inventories are identification of cave flora and fauna, biological habitat zones, archaeological or paleontological items, rare or delicate speleothems, and zones of sensitivity to human disturbance. Cave Surveying Survey all newly discovered caves, and resurvey caves that are deemed to be poorly surveyed. Cave Exploration. Conduct exploration of known caves and locate new caves on National Forest System Lands. Cave Monitoring Establishing photo points, maintaining photo files, monitoring visitor use, and reporting any incidence of vandalism. Cave Cleanup This involves trash removal, and removal of modern graffiti. Cave Conservation and Education Assist in performing cave conservation activities such as installing, restoring, or removing cave gates, marking routes in cav es, cave restoration projects, and training new users to be conservation minded. Interpretation Assist in providing programs to civic or social groups on subjects such as cave exploration, education, conservation, bats, and geology. Help in developing environmental education programs (handouts, brochures, slide shows, etc.). Gate Inspection. Assist in the inspection of any established cave gates when in their vicinity. Scientific Studies Allowed to engage in limited studies in District caves when mutually agreed upon with the Forest Service. Cave Evaluations Assist the Forest Service in evaluating the significance of caves under the requirements of the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988. Assist the Forest Service in determining the extent to which individual caves meet evaluation criteria, and in the development of supporting documentation. Cave Management Planning. Assist the Forest Service with input for developing cave management plans. Other Projects Assist the Forest Service in the performance of other cave related projects as mutually agreed to by both parties.
Contents: Welcome from Courtney Cloyd --
Tongass cave Geomicrobiology Investigations --
Transforming Files into Cave --
On Your Knees Cave Human Remains Reburial --
Show Cave Management at Blanchard Springs Cavern --
Cave Research Foundation on the Mark Twain NF --
Karst Hydrologic Investigations in South Carolina --
MOU with Cavers on the Ozark-St Francis NF.
"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
USDA Forest Service