1999 Proceedings Review

Proceedings of the 14th National Cave & Karst Management Symposium,
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, October 1999
Published by the Southestern Cave Conservancy Inc
Edited by Tom Rea

Reviewed by Kent Henderson – Editor
Australian Cave and Karst Management Association (ACKMA) Journal
September, 2002

The Proceedings of the 14th NCKMS is a weighty tome of 221 pages, and features over sixty papers presented at Chattanooga in 1999. Most of the papers are relatively short, but nonetheless meaty. They cover, as you would expect, a broad range of interests. A few are pretty much American-endemic, on such matters as local histories, or on what I would term purely caving matters. However, most have widespread interest, and are very useful or applicable to the Australian and New Zealand scene.

The theme of the Conference, Living with Caves and Karst, called for papers to address a wide range of issues, particularly the enormous planning problems facing US caves given the accelerated rates of residential, commercial and industrial development in many areas of North America. Many papers, in area specific or broader terms, highlighted the impacts and threats to caves and karst in metropolitan areas in particular,as well as generally, considered the implications for cave and karst resulting from land use and development, and examined strategies and techniques for conservation and management in those environments.

Some of the papers I read with particular interest included: Construction Relative to Reducing Visitor Impact in the Historic Section of Mammoth Cave; New Advances in the Study and Management of Arkansas Caves; The Role of Research and Education in Cave and Karst Management; Site Conservation Planning for Caves and Karst Features; Cave Restoration and Conservation – Topics, Methods, and Discussion; Misconceptions About Caves and Karst – Common Problems and Educational Solutions; and Successful Cave Management Strategies at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

This is indeed a must publication for any library of cave-related materials.