Carlsbad Caverns Cave and Karst Management Plan

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I am pleased to announce the availability of Carlsbad Caverns National Park's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Carlsbad Caverns Cave and Karst Management Plan. The EA proposes to modify existing cave and karst management policies based on scientific research and management experience. Backcountry cave access and use policies would be developed based on desired conditions of individual resources. Cave monitoring, data collection, and research would be conducted by park personnel, researchers, and volunteers based on scientific and management needs. The scope of education and outreach would be expanded with the goal of making Carlsbad Caverns National Park one of the premier sources of cave and karst education and knowledge. Visitor service operations, concession operations, cooperating association operations, and National Park Service personnel management are not within the scope of this management plan.

The EA is complete based on full and open interdisciplinary evaluation of available relevant information. Impairment has been considered, addressed, and disclosed in the EA. There would be no impairment to park values should the preferred alternative be selected and implemented. No controversial issues or political interests have been raised. All applicable regulatory requirements have been initiated.

The National Park Service (NPS) is soliciting comments on this EA. These comments will be considered in evaluating the EA and making decisions pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EA will remain available for public comment through January 12, 2007. The document is available at the park's administrative office, in Carlsbad; on the NPS's Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at; on the park's website at; and at the Carlsbad Municipal Library.

Comments on the EA are welcome and may be sent via email at the PEPC website ( or via US Mail to:

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Attn: Cave and Karst Management Plan EA
3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220-5354

Our practice is to make comments, including names, home addresses, home phone numbers, and email addresses of respondents, available for public review. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their names and/or home addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this information you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exceptional, document able circumstances, this information will be released. We will always make submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives of or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.


John C. Benjamin

Contact Information

Comments on the environmental assessment must be received no later than January 12, 2007. Should you have any questions, please call Paul Burger, Hydrologist at 505/785-3106 or Dale Pate, Cave Specialist at 505/785-3107.